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Independence in old age: Living alone tips

• Written by Thom

Updated 26th November 2019

Living alone tips:

As we get older, it’s often the case that we find ourselves enjoying our own company on a more regular basis. However, living alone doesn’t have to be a bad thing. In fact, whilst some are understandably hesitant at the idea (particularly if you’ve lived with someone else for a long time), many report living alone to be completely liberating. If you’re unsure on whether you like the idea, why not read the following living alone tips to make the idea less daunting:

1. Embrace community

One of the most important living alone tips we can give is to stay connected to those around you. Not only your friends and family, which is of course important, but the people who are closest to you in terms of distance. Getting to know your neighbours is great for socialising but also for safety when living alone.

Another great idea is to socialise as part of a new club or group. Book groups, walking groups, and even just local community evenings are great ways to meet new people and make new friends.

2. Adapt your home

It would be wise to ensure that your home is secure, safe and easy to move around by yourself. This may mean installing handrails on the walls, a stair lift or changes to help you in the bathroom, like a wet room. For extra security you can add outdoor lights that will activate when someone walks towards it.

3. Learn to love your own company

Peace and quiet can seem scary if you’re not used to it. Whether you’ve lived in a busy household filled with noise, or just the comforting sound of another, silence can be overwhelming. However, once you learn to embrace the peace and quiet, you might find you actually quite enjoy it. Try doing some breathing exercises, or meditation in your spare time. Take advantage of nobody being able to interrupt you whilst you read that book you’ve been eyeing. You could even just sit and have a quiet cup of tea – it might be refreshing!

4. Purchase a Lifeline

Many people will offer up crucial living alone tips surrounding your wellbeing. Friends and family may encourage you to buy a personal alarm. Personal alarms are a good option for elderly people living alone at home. In case you need help urgently, your personal alarm can be pressed and you will get through to a comforting voice to talk through your needs. They will then call either a loved one or the emergency services, depending on the situation.

Many worry that personal alarms lose their independence. However, this is not the case! In fact, a personal alarm allows you to keep your independence whilst living at home. It’s just a bit of added security for your peace of mind.

5. Get organised

It’s helpful to keep a record of all medications you are on and notes of your medical illnesses. Emergency services and other people coming to help you may need to read this if you are unable to explain. You could do this on a well displayed whiteboard, or through a purchased medication reminder.

6. Test alarms frequently

We advise that you test your Lifeline Alarm frequently so that you can check we can hear you and you can hear us. It’s also crucial that you check your fire alarms in the house every week if possible. This is possibly the simplest of the living alone tips we can give, yet it’s incredibly important. If you are unable to do this by yourself ask a neighbour, family member or friend to help. You can also get a free Home Fire Risk Assessment to take you through fire safety in your home.

7. Call your family and friends

It can often be the case that those living alone won’t reach out to their loved ones, for fear of annoying them. This shouldn’t be the case. One of the biggest living alone tips we could give is to make use of friends and family. Keep in touch whenever you can – you won’t be bothering them.

8. Use a Keysafe

A keysafe will allow someone to get to you in the case of an emergency or you are unable to get to the door. Once you have a keysafe you can give the code to people close to you so they can access a key to get in if necessary. It can also be used by carers and emergency services. To find out more visit www.lifeline.co.uk or call us on 0800 999 0400.

 

If you live alone, and have some more great tips for others in your situation, be sure to let us know in the comments below!

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