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When Seniors Live Alone

With advancing years come physical problems that can make life difficult. The elderly often do not realize their own frailties and prefer to live alone in a place and conditions that they are familiar with, even if going to an assisted living facility would be safer and more convenient. According to research by the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) about 90% of people of the age of 65 and more want to live in their own homes for as long as they can. Studies reveal that living at home may offer emotional benefits to seniors, but that does not outweigh the psychological and physical issues and risks that exist.

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Signs of Problems

If you have a loved one who is living alone and who will not move to a senior care center, trying to force the issues is often unwise. Instead, it is better to monitor the situation to know when staying alone is simply no longer safe. Among the many signs, these are some of the most common:
  • Inability to look after the cleaning and maintenance of the house
  • Lack of interest in eating proper meals and good nutrition
  • Difficulty in performing scheduled tasks on time such as paying bills
  • Short term memory loss such as forgetting appointments
  • Irritability/anger caused by the realization that coping is becoming harder leading to hostility towards others
  • Loss of stamina and failing eyesight
  • Difficulty in managing medication
  • Social isolation – not wanting to interact with friends or loved ones. It may start with a reluctance to leave the home and then turn into a desire to avoid  even those to come to visit
The last may seem to be the most difficult to deal with, but the solution is, in many cases, surprisingly simple. The isolation may be caused by the difficulty of travel, even for short distances. Not wanting to admit to the problem or accept that there is one they cut themselves off from the outside world. This isolation can trigger a variety of physical and psychological problems among the elderly.

The Safe Mobility Option

Just because a senior uses a wheelchair or walker, it doesn’t mean that he or she is confined to the house. Having family or friends transport them can be very inconvenient for everyone. Also, it can make the senior feel that independence has been lost, which can be depressing. Being able to travel in security and comfort means a lot to seniors and there is a way for them to do this. Non-emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT) services are meant to enable those with mobility limitations to travel where and when they want. A professional NEMT company will have specially equipped vehicles to make entry, exit and travel easy for those for whom regular car travel is not a viable option. Giving elderly loved ones a way of being independent in their golden years is not just a gift they will always appreciate, it is one that will help to keep then alert and active.

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