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How to stay safe as a senior when living alone


living alone midlife woman image

As a woman over 50, you may find it ideal to live alone, as you get more time to focus on your interests and hobbies. Independence is an essential element of living a fulfilling and happy life. For seniors, this sense of freedom can be an enjoyable experience and allows them to feel comfortable knowing they don’t depend on others to care for themselves.

While this lifestyle has its perks, there are also several risks you should be aware of. When you live on your own, your home becomes the perfect target for burglars. Luckily, tech-savvy tools can help you stay safe and get immediate help in case there’s an emergency. Read on to learn some practical tips on reducing the challenges that come with living alone.

Practice healthy living

As you age, you become more vulnerable to developing several health conditions. Therefore, maintaining a healthy lifestyle is paramount. This includes eating well, exercising frequently, and getting a good night’s rest. Building healthy habits in your life is vital, as it helps prevent illness and injury. A balanced diet can help you reduce the effects of declining heart health and other issues. Some foods you should include in your diet are fruits and vegetables and leafy greens. A constant sleep schedule is also imperative because it can boost your mental health. 

Sleep improves focus and memory, allowing your body to repair cell damage that may occur throughout the day. This refreshes your immune system, which helps prevent illness. If you don’t sleep well, you are more vulnerable to experiencing depression, night time falls, and memory and attention issues. Moreover, insufficient sleep can lead to severe health problems, increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease, weight problems, diabetes and breast cancer.  

Preventive action is necessary to maintain your health as a senior, and there are several things you can do, such as keeping up with health screenings to check for any illness. Managing stress is also critical, as it’s a leading factor that causes many illnesses, such as heart disease, obesity, diabetes, depression and dementia. Chronic stress increases cortisol levels, leading to high blood pressure and increased blood sugar. Luckily, there are several ways to cope with stress and prevent it from affecting the quality of your life. Maintaining an active social life is one of them, which leads us to the second critical tip for seniors living alone.

Connect with people

Senior isolation is a common issue and can be detrimental to your mental health. Living alone doesn’t necessarily mean feeling lonely, but sometimes the two aspects go hand-in-hand, impacting seniors’ lives and being associated with an increased mortality rate. Senior isolation can lead to poor health and depression. Moreover, it can worsen cognitive decline.

With this in mind, one essential thing you can do as a woman living alone is to connect with others as much as possible. Maintaining an active social life is critical to staying healthy and safe. Spending time with your friends is a practical way to boost your well-being and build a support system you can rely on if something goes wrong.

Prevent falls

Falls are common hazards among older adults, leading to fatal injuries in the worst-case scenario. However, several preventive measures can help you avoid falls. One essential thing you can do is to move tripping hazards like cords and wires out of your way. Moreover, you should ensure your bathroom is covered with slip-free carpets or mats. You should do this for other hard surfaces in your home, too, not only your bathroom.

Another practical tip is to invest in nightlights – they can help light your path if you get up and walk from one room to another during the night. Also, consider engaging in balance-building exercises, like swimming or yoga – they will help you be prepared to catch yourself if you start falling. However, sometimes slip, and fall incidents can occur outside your home too. Supposing you sustain injuries due to someone’s negligence in a public space, such as a shop, you can make an accident claim. Make sure to contact a personal injury lawyer if anything like that happens to you. You shouldn’t go through the process alone, and having a legal expert by your side can go a long way in overcoming such a challenging situation.

Develop an emergency kit

No one wants to deal with emergencies, but anyone can experience them at some point or another. Therefore, it’s vital to prepare yourself for unforeseen circumstances. This is true for all people, not only seniors. Developing an emergency kit is a practical way to prepare yourself for the worst. This kit is ideal in the event of freezing weather, power outages or natural disasters.

This vital equipment should include flashlights, blankets, candles, matches, dried food, bottled water, and medical supplies. An emergency kit can come in handy if something unpredictable happens, as it allows you to tend to your needs while help arrives. That way, you’ll be able to make severe weather easier to endure by yourself.

Install a security system

The market includes many alert systems destined to keep seniors safe and help them feel independent. Therefore, you should consider investing in a home security system, as it can help you keep an eye on what’s happening around the house and notice any suspicious activity.

If you aren’t tech-savvy, make sure to choose a security system with an easy user interface. For instance, you can look for one with CCTV coverage and fundamental door locking features. 

 

Senior women living alone are at risk for break-ins and burglaries, so taking necessary measures to protect yourself from these crimes is essential. Besides a home security system, there are other things you can do, such as:

  • Locking your doors and windows;
  • Keeping shrubs and trees trimmed so that no one can hide behind them;
  • Secure your home’s back and side entrances;
  • Don’t hide the spare key outside the house;
  • Ask a neighbour to mow your lawn;
  • Set your TV and lights on a timer when you leave your home to create the impression that you’re inside.

 

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