Mental and Physical Health Risks for Elderly People Living Alone

grandpa by the lake

With grown children scattered across the country, parents who have trouble adjusting to new environments may choose to stay in their old homes instead of moving in with one of their kids. Some don’t even have children and are reluctant to live with relatives.

For older adults, there could be a lot of risks associated with living alone. They are no longer as strong as before, and as they get even older, they may show signs of poor health, something that shouldn’t be neglected, but hard to do so when one lives alone without anyone to watch over them.

Because of the risks, facilities for older adults came to be, and they are staffed with professionals who can assist the elderly as they live out the rest of their lives. In Ogden, there are nursing homes offering the best care and other services for your aging parent living alone.

That said, here are the risks older people who live alone face.

Getting Injured

People of all ages are always at risk of falling anywhere, but for the elderly, this risk is far higher. Their worsening eyesight, decreased sense of balance and waning strength make them more vulnerable, and their trips and falls may result in more serious injuries.

If this happens, it would be challenging for them to get help, because it’s possible that no one is aware of the emergency.

Poor Health

Older adults may not have much access to healthy food, especially when they are hindered by their physical and financial limitations to go grocery shopping. With limited stamina, cooking may be extra laborious for them, and thus the food they eat may not be nutritious enough, causing their health to deteriorate further.

Isolation

Without exposure to the outside world, the elderly are at risk of isolation, and this poses other risks. With their children away, they don’t have anyone at home to bond and talk with, and it’s also possible that they have already outlived most of their friends.

For some elders, it can be very hard to get accustomed to a new location, so they’d rather stay at their homes where they are most comfortable. With little to no social interaction, their physical and mental health will be impacted negatively, giving them higher chances of depression and extreme loneliness.

These harsh mental conditions could potentially lead to more hospitalizations.

What Does a Nursing Home Do?

At a Nursing Home

At a nursing home, an elderly can be assisted in their daily lives, from the basic tasks of eating and bathing to regular medical monitoring. Skilled professionals in various medical fields are within the facility to treat diseases that older adults might have.

Nursing homes provide rooms, personal care, 24/7 emergency care, and opportunities for social interaction and recreational activity. If parents are persistent in not moving in with any of their children, they have the option of living in a nursing home, where risks could be avoided.

Before taking a parent to this facility, talk to them and to their caregivers (if they have any). Ask them about the tasks that they need help with, and how often to they need the assistance. Research about different nursing homes to be informed of their vacancies, requirements, level of care, etc.

Payment can be made through gov’t issued health insurances, private insurances, and personal funds.

Long-term care is guaranteed in a nursing home. Even so, as children of our aging parents, let us not forget to visit them frequently. So we ourselves can see how they are getting by. Especially for those with parents fearful of change, adjusting can be harder for them, so it’s important that you check on them often.