Safety & Security Tips for Elderly Loved Ones Living Alone

How to Ensure Safety & Security of Elderly Loved Ones Living AloneIf you love someone who’s getting older, here are tips to ensure the safety and security of elderly loved ones who are living alone.

Life is a vicious circle of joy and sadness. Parents who happily raised their kids and provided them with every luxury and comfort are made to live alone in old age.

Pew Research stated that old people are more likely to live alone in the US than anywhere else in the world.

Old age can be harsh on most people, and there are potential risks that adults can experience. Chronic ailments, financial insecurity, mobility issues, and loneliness are the biggest challenges that elderly adults have to face. Children are responsible for taking proactive measures to ensure their safety and security.

I am sharing about this topic because I’m a best selling wellness author.

In my bestselling longevity book, Life is Long, I share many research-based secrets to living longer, healthier, younger.

I love empowering people to stay healthy, prevent illnesses and enjoy the highest quality of life for as long as possible.

Why and How to Take Care of Your Elderly Loved Ones

Old age makes a person sensitive and fragile, similar to a newborn in childhood. The physical strength of the elderly diminishes considerably along with mental stability. Apart from the naturally occurring difficulties, the negligence of their young leaves an indelible impact on the overall life of the elderly adults.

Sending the adults to retirement homes is one solution, but it is not guaranteed to relieve all their difficulties. Furthermore, most parents and adults would rather live alone in their homes than go to any nursing home. Unfortunately, the prevalent stereotypes play their part in increasing the isolation and marginalizing the elderly.

Tips To Protect the Safety & Security of Elderly Loved Ones

1. Ensuring Digital Safety

There may be stark similarities in the behavior and attitude of a child and an elderly person. However, there is one significant difference, and that is the use of technology. Gen Z kids are digital natives and quickly learn the functions and features of digital devices. On the other hand, most baby boomers and Gen X merely know the ordinary features of the internet and smart devices and not their intricacies.

Having little tech knowledge is why the elderly are more vulnerable to online fraud and scams. According to the news, older adults lose $28 billion each year to financial scams. Digital safety is paramount as most elderly do not work and rely on savings and retirement funds. Apart from phishing, seniors are also susceptible to other modern-day threats, such as doxxing and identity theft.

You can teach the elderly the things to avoid and precautions to take when online. However, they may unintentionally fall victim and not know what or where they did make a mistake.

The best solution is to use a cellphone monitoring app like XNspy to help manage all online activities. With its multipurpose features, XNspy can considerably reduce the potential risks to the elderly.

You can easily install it on your parent’s phone for remote access. Its monitoring features will work discreetly without invading privacy and collect crucial data on cell phone usage. XNspy dashboard lets you track calls, view messages, check web history, and access social media activity.

Let us explore the key reasons to install and use XNspy:

i. Email & Chat Monitoring

Senior citizens like your parents are often the targets of scammers, who may adopt many measures to get their money, such as gift card scams. XNspy provides valuable email and chat monitoring that helps catch perpetrators before harm is done.

Numerous marketing emails may tempt your parent to provide personal information to a stranger or click on a malicious phishing link. With XNspy, you have access to all sent and received emails. You can view email contacts, and the information, files, or media exchanged.

Apart from emails, XNspy can monitor more than 10 instant messaging (IM) apps. You can view your parents’ complete chat threads on popular IM apps they use, such as Facebook, WhatsApp, iMessage, Viber, Instagram, and Skype. This helps you make sure they aren’t getting scammed through instant messaging apps.

ii. GPS and Geofencing

If you are parents are suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia, you have to be particularly careful. They can wander off or get lost, which can increase their stress. XNspy offers GPS tracking that lets you view the whereabouts of your parent.

The app’s dashboard allows you to view real-time location and history of visited locations. The name of the street, area, and state are defined in complete detail with relevant time and date. XNspy even has a geo-fencing tool that helps to mark particular places. The moment your parent enters or exits a specific location, you will get a notification.

2. Ensure Physical Safety

A recent research by NCOA states that almost 95% of adults aged 60 or older suffer from at least one chronic disease, while 78.7% suffer from more than one condition. These older adults require constant care, particularly within the confines of their homes.

Hearing and vision loss are telltale signs of aging, and if a senior citizen has arthritis, it can further increase the risks of falls. Already, falls are regarded as the leading cause of injury among senior adults. Falling from stairs results in broken bones, head injuries, and multiple other health complications.

Older adults spend most of their time indoors, so it is essential to take fall preventive measures. These may include performing home modifications such as

  • Using a fall detection device
  • Fitting handrails to ensure maximum safety and support
  • Installing grab bars in the shower and bath-tub
  • Removing fall and tripping hazards
  • Increasing the lights of the house and installing night lights in bedroom, bathroom, and hallway
  • Adding a transfer bench
  • Rearranging the magazine racks, tables, and shelves
  • Repairing the loose and worn-out floor and carpet
  • Placing non-slip mats
  • Keeping the dishes, clothes, and common-use items within easy reach

Apart from making the necessary changes to the house, ask or take the parents for a walk or a little exercise. Experts suggest that physical activity can prevent falls by improving balance, flexibility, and coordination.

If your parent is afraid to risk any outdoor movement, you can hire a physical therapist. These professionals can help create a custom exercise routine that improves muscle strength and balance.

3. Open Communication

You can provide the elderly with all the modern joys and comforts to ease their lives. But most long for love, care, and friendship. You need to build a close relationship and relate to their needs, whether physical or psychological.

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) report states that one-fourth of adults aged 65 or above are socially isolated. Loneliness is feeling alone no matter how much social contact older adults have, while social isolation is the absence of social connections. These two factors lead to adverse health with an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, and dementia.

The elderly have families who move away and start families of their own. The hustle and bustle of life and the distance expand the social gap between older adults and their dear ones. The elderly may also find losing their fellow companions to illnesses and death and not getting the emotional support they once did. Grief often compounds the feelings of loneliness and causes additional stress.

You can help to prevent these risks by:

i. Performing regular check-ins

If your parents live alone or in a nursing home, meet them regularly. Many elderly only get to see their children on special occasions, such as Christmas, Easter, and Thanksgiving. Due to the nature of the occasions, many adults even pretend to be happy and not share their grief or thoughts.

Older adults feel joy the most when they meet with their grandchildren. You can surprise them by taking the kids to meet them on weekends. Apart from the surprise visits, taking them to the doctor and getting a wellness check is essential. These checks can determine any underlying physical or mental illness that may be gradually developing with the parents none the wiser.

You can ask your parents to join you on short trips as a change of surroundings helps them to relax and think differently. If your parents plan to modify or paint their house, you can help them with chores. Build them a garden and get them a pet cat or dog to keep them company when you are away.

ii. Building a Support Network

Maintaining a vibrant connection with the children and the outside world becomes difficult for older adults who live alone and rarely leave home. Social support groups are important for constant communication in times of personal crisis and more so in times of emergency. Apart from the regular meet-ups and video calls, you need to define a support system.

Here are some of the tips to follow:

  • Make a list of family, friends, and neighbors.
  • Establish channels or mediums for honest communication. If your parents are not tech-savvy, teach them to use WhatsApp, Facetime, and Skype.
  • Define the role of each member in the support group.
  • Explore the local resources that can help, including community programs and senior centers.
  • Plan a meeting with group members to determine the evolving needs
  • Educate the group on the health conditions of the elderly and encourage social connection
  • Acknowledge the achievements, big or small, and recognize efforts done by each member

Conclusion: Elderly Loved Ones Living Alone

The challenges that elderly adults can face are endless. Some of these can be pretty tough but proactive measures help ease the apprehensions. Like your parents, most seniors think they are self-sufficient and do not need anyone’s help.

However, old age significantly affects their physical, mental, and emotional well-being. You not only have to modify their house to ensure physical safety but also develop a strong support group for their social wellness.

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