Growing old is inevitable, and as people age, with globalization, they often find themselves alone as their children move away for work or personal reasons. While it may seem an uphill task, living alone as senior citizens can be safe and fulfilling with the proper precautions and lifestyle choices.
According to a report by The Hindu Business Line, the number of elderly people living alone in India has increased by 35% over the past decade. The report also states that social isolation is a major concern among seniors, with around 20% of seniors reporting feeling lonely.
Here are some tips for senior citizens with kids abroad or in another city in India to live alone safely and happily.
Plan for emergencies
Be ready for clinical or nonclinical This includes having emergency contacts readily available, a medical alert system, and knowing the location of the nearest hospital. It is also important to have a backup plan in case of a power outage, fire, or other unexpected events.
Physical activity is crucial for senior citizens, as it helps maintain their mobility and overall health, and can also help prevent emergencies. Consider taking up low-impact activities such as walking, swimming, or yoga. Joining a seniors group or taking a class can also provide socialization opportunities. According to the CDC, regular physical activity can reduce the risk of falls by up to 30%. Low-impact activities such as walking, swimming, or yoga can benefit seniors.
Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle
As people age, it becomes even more important to maintain a healthy lifestyle. This includes eating a balanced diet, staying hydrated, getting enough sleep, and avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol consumption. A healthy lifestyle can also help prevent falls, which are a leading cause of injury among senior citizens.
Keep in touch with Loved Ones
While living alone, it’s important to keep in touch with family and friends. This includes regular phone calls, video chats, or even letters or cards. Social isolation is a real concern among seniors, and staying connected can help prevent loneliness and depression.
Secure your Home
Living alone can make seniors more vulnerable to break-ins and theft. Ensure that your home is secure by installing deadbolts, security cameras, and motion-activated lights. Consider enlisting the help of a trusted neighbor to keep an eye on your home when you’re away.
Join a Community
Senior communities offer a wealth of resources and socialization opportunities. Consider joining a community that aligns with your interests, such as a book club, art class, or hiking group. This can provide a sense of belonging and help prevent loneliness.
Technology has come a long way in recent years and can be an invaluable tool for seniors living alone. Consider investing in a smartphone, tablet, or computer, which can be used to stay in touch with loved ones, access information, and even order groceries online.
As people age, certain tasks may become more challenging. Consider hiring help for housekeeping, yard work, or transportation. This can help seniors maintain their independence and quality of life.
Plan for the Future
While it may be uncomfortable to think about, it’s important to plan for the future. This includes creating a will, power of attorney, and advance directives. It’s also important to consider long-term care options, such as assisted living or nursing homes.
In addition to physical activity, maintaining a healthy lifestyle is also important. As former First Lady Michelle Obama once said, “it’s important to keep in mind that our bodies are like machines, and we need to take care of them accordingly.” Eating a balanced diet, staying hydrated, getting enough sleep, and avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol consumption can all help prevent medical emergencies.
In conclusion, living alone as a senior citizen can be safe and fulfilling with the right precautions and lifestyle choices. By planning for emergencies, staying active, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, keeping in touch with loved ones, securing your home, joining a community, embracing technology, hiring help when needed, and planning for the future, senior citizens with kids abroad can live alone safely and happily. It’s never too late to take control of your life and make the most of your golden years.