5 Risks Facing Seniors Living at Home
Seniors' desire for familiar surroundings and to maintain their independence, coupled with a common fear of being “institutionalized” and its financial implications, have led to the majority of seniors wanting to live at home for as long as possible. The sad reality is that many seniors living at home are not safe, independent, or comfortable and would be better suited for a senior living community. At Enlivant communities, we love to help our residents thrive in a safe and happy environment.
Below are some of the major risks seniors may face while living at home.
Living at home can be very isolating for seniors, especially for those who are homebound and/or living in rural areas. A recent report from JAMA Internal Medicine found an estimated 4.2 million Americans aged 70 years or older are homebound, rarely or never leaving their homes. Outings may be limited to medical appointments, and homebound seniors are at a higher risk of depression, too.
In senior living communities, outings, transportation, and single-floor designs promote access to the community and broader world. Senior living residents are also able to socialize daily with their peers and attend social events.
Safety Hazards & Injuries
Poor eyesight, limited mobility, and minor safety hazards at home, like a loose rug or tangled electrical cord, can put seniors at risk for falls, broken hips and even death. If you notice your senior loved one’s home is cluttered and dirty, stairs are steep and home maintenance is falling behind, it may be time to explore senior living options.
Assisted living facilities typically provide all housekeeping, laundry and home maintenance, so your loved one can thrive in a safe environment, and spend their time enjoying hobbies and activities.
Malnutrition is a serious health issue among seniors. Poor nutrition and dehydration can result from many factors including decreased appetites, trouble chewing, and a lack of interest in cooking and eating for one. Seniors living at home should be able to shop for, prepare and eat three healthy meals per day. Having no food in the house or spoiled food in the refrigerator is a sure fire sign they are not getting adequate nutrition and need additional assistance. If you notice any sudden weight loss or evidence of malnutrition or dehydration, get help immediately.
At assisted living facilities, residents don’t have to worry about grocery shopping or meal preparation. They can enjoy three square meals a day, with menus tailored to the changing health needs of older adults. Every year, we give our residents a chance to show off their cooking skills and share their best recipes so they can join in on the fun and enjoy the meals near and dear to their hearts.
The average senior takes four or more different medications per day, so it's not surprising that a high percentage of seniors make some kind of error when taking medications. Seniors living at home must be able to remember proper dosage each day and keep up with refills. If a senior can’t remember if or how much medication they took, or forgets to take their medication altogether, they are putting their health at serious risk staying at home.
Most assisted living facilities provide medication management as a service to their residents.
Seniors living at home tend to be easy targets for con artists and thieves, who prey on older adults’ vulnerabilities and trusting nature. Whether it is a fraudulent sweepstakes prize or an unbelievable investment return, the Consumer Law Center has found that fraudulent telemarketers direct anywhere from 56 percent to nearly 80 percent of their calls at older customers. Here are the top financial scams targeting seniors that you and your senior loved one should be aware of.
Living at home is certainly possible for some seniors who are able to thrive on their own, but for many older adults, it creates an unsafe and unhealthy living environment. Senior living offers the ability for seniors to maintain their independence and “age in place” both safely, comfortably, and happily.
Find your happy place at Enlivant! Explore our communities to see if one is the right fit for you or your loved one.
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