Last Updated on December 10, 2019
If it has become time to consider whether your parent(s) needs to go into assisted living, a nursing home, or wants to age in place where they currently reside, it’s best to think about the pros and cons of independent living and the elderly living alone at home.
Some prefer living at home in solitude or with their partner or spouse, while others would rather be in a facility that provides meals, care, and socialization. Read on to learn about the drawbacks and advantages of the elderly living alone, and how you can help your parents or loved ones come to a sound decision.
Elderly Living Alone: What Are the Benefits of Aging in Place?
Aging in place is certainly a viable solution for those living alone in old age. However, as the caregiver or child of elderly parents living alone, it is your responsibility to make sure that there are supports in place so that your parent or parents can be successful. Essentially, you want the person (your parent), the support network (friends, family, and medical and mental health supports), and the place to be cohesive. One of the first things you may want to consider is in-home modifications for safety reasons. Whether you’re adding features such as stair lifts for a house with two floors, or smart switches on ovens and lights, you want to make sure your elderly parents living alone are safe. You also want to make sure that your parents’ finances are in order as well, so they can run successfully.
Elderly Parents Living Alone: How Does Loneliness Affect the Elderly?
There is always the question of how does loneliness affect the elderly? Depression and loneliness can affect the elderly pretty strongly, which is why in some cases it’s ideal to have patients in an assisted living program where they can socialize daily. Make sure there are social and support groups in place for your elderly parents living alone, such as local senior clubs, hiking clubs, or other associations or events that they would enjoy. For those wondering, “Can the elderly live alone?” the answer is “absolutely,” but supports and modifications should ideally be put into place.
Elderly Parents Living Alone: Drawbacks and Points to Consider
In some cases, aging in place simply isn’t the best idea. If you’re wondering “is it healthy to live alone?” the answer is often “yes,” but not in every case. Sometimes elderly widows living alone or elderly parents living alone just don’t have a support structure in place so they can succeed.
If finances are tough, if there are not many supports in the area (caregivers, neighbors, etc.), or if you are a long-distance caregiver, aging in place may not work. It’s also a good idea to listen to your gut. There are many reasons why it is important for an elderly person to maintain their independence, but if it comes as a detriment to their physical or mental health, then it’s best to have an honest talk with them about your feelings and why aging in place may not work.
For more information about elderly parents living alone and aging in place, or to learn about mobility products and in-home modifications that can help improve your parents’ quality of life, contact Williams Lift Co. today. We want both caregivers and their patients to live their best lives.