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Is It Safe To Live Alone?

As a person ages, it can become difficult to determine if living alone is still safe. The following is a checklist to help determine if alternate living arrangements may be necessary.

Personal Safety

  1. Has weakness or dizziness caused accidents or falls?
  2. Has the use of kitchen appliances become a problem due to forgetfulness?
  3. Is negotiating stairs a necessary part of the daily routine?
  4. Has medical equipment been prescribed (wheelchair, walker, cane), but is not being used?
  5. Have there been periods of depression, or loss of interest in living?

Nutritional Concerns

  1. Is there an inability or unwillingness to use the kitchen for food preparation?
  2. Have medical conditions developed related to poor nutrition (weight loss, anemia, malnutrition)?
  3. Are only specific foods eaten, none of which will meet nutritional needs
  4. Are meals skipped or forgotten?

Personal Care Needs

  1. Is getting to the toilet when necessary a problem?
  2. If there is incontinence, is there an inability or unwillingness to use protective undergarments or perform self clean-up?
  3. Is dressing independently and appropriately a problem?
  4. Can baths be taken safely and independently?

Medical Needs

  1. Are verbal reminders necessary to take medication properly?
  2. Are incorrect doses of medication taken frequently, either accidentally or purposely?
  3. Do physical limitations (arthritis, shaking) making it difficult to take medications without spills or drops?
  4. If injections are necessary, are there problems measuring dosage or administering the injection?
  5. In case of a medical emergency, would there be difficulty in obtaining assistance?
  6. Is a hearing aid required, but has not been obtained or not used?

Social Functioning

  1. Is managing personal finances difficult?
  2. Is disorientation or confusion in familiar settings a problem?
  3. Has wandering away from home without a specified destination become a concern?
  4. Have there been instances of inappropriate behavior in public (threatening others, etc)?
  5. Are there mental or emotional problems that might be a threat to others?

* Reference: Senior Resource

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