Living alone at any age, but especially as a senior, can be a somewhat frightening and anxiety-inducing experience. After all, most accidents happen in the home, so there’s that fear of having a fall down the stairs and being unable to call for help. Then there’s also the fear of home intrusion, as well as that sense of loneliness that can sometimes set in.
No matter how old you are, if you live alone, here’s some advice to help you feel at least a little bit safer and a little more relaxed on your own.
Ensure Your Home’s Safety
To feel completely safe in your home, you should first ensure that it is burglar-proof. This means installing better locks on your doors and windows, as well as adopting certain habits.
- Have an expert go over your home and identify any potential weak spots. Perhaps one of your downstairs windows is easy to jimmy open?
- Consider replacing your locks and go for the sturdiest option you can afford. Any other points of unwanted entry, like the garage door, should also be made as safe as possible.
- An alarm system, motion-activated lighting outside the home, or a set of smart cameras can also enhance the security of the home and make you feel more at ease.
- Reconsider where you leave the spare key. A neighbor is always a better choice than leaving it under a rock or in the mailbox.
- Lock your doors at all times, even when you just pop back in for a shopping bag.
- Establish a “locking-up routine” before you leave the house or go to bed, to make sure everything is as it should be.
- When you are locking the door, focus on remembering that activity, so that you don’t have those unwanted “have I locked the door” thoughts.
Consider a Medical Alert System
You can also invest in a medical alert system, which will ensure you get immediate help in case of an accident or if you feel unwell. It can also help you get in touch with the police if there is a home intrusion while you are on the premises.
Our own medical alert system is simple to set up. It can be activated in a number of ways, enabling you to get in touch with one of our operators regardless of whether you can get to the panic button, as voice activation is also available. You can also choose to wear a wearable device that will add a further layer of safety, if that makes you feel even more comfortable.
Establish a Check-in Routine
One of the biggest fears people who live alone have is that something will happen to them and nobody will realize they are in need of assistance. They have panicked visions of themselves lying on the kitchen floor, having just broken a hip, unable to move or call for help.
While a medical alert system is the best way to assuage this fear, you can also establish a regular check-in routine with your friends and family. Simply ask them to check in with you every day. You can come up with a system where a different person has to call you at a certain time of day, or where you send a message or leave a voice note to a specific person at a specific time.
That way, if you fail to reply or are silent for longer than usual, your designated someone can come over to make sure you are okay. Of course, if you simply oversleep and forget to send the message, you can inadvertently cause a fair bit of stress and fear yourself.
Get a Pet
To overcome some of the loneliness that can come with living alone, you can also choose to adopt a pet. Whether you are a cat person or a dog person, if you are able to take care of an animal, they can do a lot to help you feel more at ease.
Your furry friend will be there to welcome you home no matter how you feel and what’s going on in your life. They can curl up with you on the sofa every evening, making movie night that much more enjoyable.
Of course, you should be absolutely certain that you can take care of a pet. If your health is not great and you feel you might not be able to give them the love and attention they need, choose a less demanding pet or forgo the option altogether.
Establish a Routine
A lot of the fears and anxieties we suffer when living alone are based entirely on our own thoughts. They have no actual basis in reality. When this is the case, a routine that keeps us busy can do a lot to help. It will prevent the mind from focusing on the negative and the anxiety-inducing.
Whether you read, watch TV, knit, solve puzzles, or play online chess, find a hobby and a pastime that makes you feel content and relaxed. Incorporate it into your daily life. This will keep your mind (and hopefully your hands) occupied, helping you feel less fearful and more comfortable in your home.
Living alone can be an amazing experience at any age. Having that sense of independence and self-sufficiency is incredible, so if you can and want to live alone, don’t let your fears prevent it. As you can see, there are several ways to make yourself feel safer and put your mind at ease. By adopting some of these tactics, you will be able to make your lie that much more enjoyable.
Lastly, don’t consider your fears silly. Everyone who lives alone suffers from them at some point. All you can do is work on preventing them and finding a way to live with them, no matter how uncomfortable they get.