Everyone has to get older, it’s just a part of life, but the days when senior citizens sat in their rocking chairs on the front porch and waited for their time to come have long been a thing of the past. Today, seniors are active, foster relationships, and are happy and going strong, well into their later years. That is, most seniors do. There are senior citizens who are not active and spend the majority of their time alone, which can lead to a whole host of problems. Read on below for a few of the top problems senior citizens face when they are not active and live alone.
Prescription Drug Abuse
One of the ever-present dangers of senior citizens living alone, with little contact with the outside world, is the very real possibility of prescription drug abuse occurring. Not just from the depression that could set in, but from forgetting whether they have taken their meds that day or not. If you feel that your elderly loved one is abusing prescription drugs, then please contact a facility like Windward Way Treatment center for help. They are dedicated to helping your loved one get back on track.
Depression From Isolation
Even for younger people, being alone for too long can lead to severe depression due to isolation. The feelings of solitude, depression, and worthlessness can go unnoticed when senior citizens live alone, increasing the chance of and thoughts of suicide. The best way to ensure your senior is not depressed is to have contact with them every day and encourage them to get out and socialize with their friends.
A Higher Chance of Elder Abuse
When a senior doesn’t have contact with the outside world often, the instances of elder abuse tend to be greater. If you have someone who stays with your loved one all of the time, but that is the only contact they have with the outside world, you don’t really know or see the symptoms of what could be happening to your aging parents or grandparents. Seniors who are active and out and about as much as possible are less likely to be abused and more likely to report it if they are.
Greater Risk of Falling and Not Being Found
When your loved one lives alone, there is a much greater risk of them falling and no one finding them right away. Even if you check on your elderly parent many times a day, it’s still better to have them not live alone if at all possible.
What Can You Do?
There are many ways that you can keep your loved one from living alone as they age. One way is to move them in with you, another is to hire in-home help, though you still need to be vigilant about checking in on your aging parent every few hours. One of the more popular options today is moving your parent into a senior living community, where they are not alone and can remain active by socializing with their peers while still having some independence.