6 Reasons Why Living Alone Is Often Not Best For The Elderly


DeAnna Naumann

Senior Living & Care Advisor and Owner at Patriarch Placement

It's hard.

In over 25 years of my experience working with the aging, very rarely have I had someone excited about leaving home. It's understandable. There are a many reasons to want to stay in the comfort of their home. The reality is that more times than not, it is NOT what is best. It's a hard decision for seniors or their loved ones to make. Having facts about the benefits of Senior Living Communities can help make it a little easier.

1) Safety

By far, this is the most important reason living at home is frequently not the best decision. Assisted living communities are designed with safety in mind. Falls, burns and becoming lost due to wandering are dramatically reduced when living in a senior community. Unfortunately, once an injury occurs, it often permanently changes the seniors quality of life and even reduces their life expectancy. So often, the desire to age at home sets the elderly up for a preventable and irrevocable injury.

2) Health Supervision

Senior living communities have trained staff that work with our aging loved ones every day. They are constantly looking for any signs of illness or any physical or mental deterioration. Catching signs & symptoms early can mean all the difference in the world when it comes to recovery and maintaining quality of life.

3) Age Appropriate Mental Stimulation

It is proven that stimulation and socialization are critical for maintaining health in the aging adult. Loneliness leads to depression and even malnutrition. Lack of adequate mental stimulation is shown to decrease memory and cognitive thinking. Senior living communities are FILLED with a variety of age appropriate activities and events to keep them mentally stimulated and socializing.

4) Staying Physically Active

We all know how important staying active is. It maintains a healthy weight, strength, & balance. All very important for the aging adult. Most senior living communities are equipped with gyms, have physical therapists that come on-site, have safe outdoor areas for walking and have social events that keep them active. Group exercises, dances & day trips are some ways senior living communities keep their residents moving!

5) Nutrition

Shopping, cooking and cleaning up becomes increasingly difficult as we age. Doing all of that work for a party of one makes it an even bigger challenge. Seniors often lose interest in food because of a decrease in their ability to taste, depression or lack of energy to prepare it. There are many reasons why elderly become malnourished when living at home. Malnutrition can lead to weakness, decreased immune system, and decreased muscle and bone mass resulting in illness and/or injury.

Retirement/assisted living communities offer a wide variety of healthy prepared meals. Most offer snacks at any time of day and night. Staff keep an eye on residents to ensure they are maintaining a healthy diet and weight.

6) Less Stress For Family Members

I saved this for last because I know it can be hard to talk about. Most families do any and everything to take care of their loved one. You sacrifice and work hard to provide the care your loved one deserves. Sometimes, you just can no longer give the care that is needed. Often, care needs become more than family can provide. Things begin to fall through the cracks. Even the caregiver starts to have a deterioration in health. The stress and guilt can be enormous when you can no longer be what they need.

Understand Your Options

It is difficult to make the decision to place a loved one in care and so often it's only after there is a preventable crisis that the decision is made. Understanding your options and the benefits of senior living communities will equip you to make the best choices for your loved one.