08 Apr Elderly Problems: Benefits and Risks of Seniors Living Alone
Psychological Articles on Elderly Problems
An elderly problem that is often overlooked is how to live alone. It is overlooked not only by the caregivers, but more so by the elderly person themselves. After living independently upwards of thirty or forty years, it’s a difficult thing to realize that your independence is becoming limited. Thus, when possible, psychological articles tell us that it is advisable to allow an elderly individual to remain at home as it promotes a greater sense of security and well being, resulting in less anxiety and stress related health problems. However, living alone can pose significant challenges and other elderly problems, and needs to be well thought out to optimize the benefits and minimize the potential risks.
In addition to promoting security and independence, psychological articles and research inform us that living alone can stimulate the brain, helping to curb some other elderly problems such as boredom or forgetfulness. An independent person must make all kinds of simple daily decisions that we often take for granted until it is taken away from us. Small decisions such as what time to eat, what to eat, or when to do the laundry and clean the house make all the difference. These little decisions help to stimulate the brain and give us something to do, thus avoiding feelings of aimless boredom. If a person is less bored, they are less likely to feel lonely or depressed.
If family is unable to handle all of the responsibility of allowing a loved one to remain in their home, there are programs that offer assistance to help alleviate some elderly problems. Some of them include telephone calls at specific times from volunteers or social workers. If there is no answer, they can then call a family member or whoever is in charge. Depending on the health of the person, there is also the option of having a registered nurse attend to the patient’s elderly problems at home during day time hours. Many programs such as “Meals on Wheels” will bring food to senior citizens at a predetermined time every day. This eliminates the need for one meal to be cooked at home and is particularly useful to persons with low income.
Forcing a person to leave their home may bring on other elderly problems such as confusion, disorientation, or bouts of anger. This may be especially true if a person has lived several years in that home. If memories of children and grandchildren are attached to that particular location, it can be hard to leave, as psychological articles tell us that feelings of deep loss and abandonment may occur. If a person must leave their home because there is no one available to check in on them or because of health reasons, it is important to handle the move with delicacy and care so as to avoid creating additional elderly problems. Surround the person with pictures and other memories. Visit often and allow them to maintain as much independence and decision making as possible.
The Psychological Article on Living Alone is part of Boomer Yearbook’s continuing series of psychological articles on Elderly problems. We believe knowledge is power. We’d love to hear what you think.
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