Risks of Living Alone: Does Your Elderly Loved One Need Company_

old man in house

Ageing is a complex process that many people take for granted. The growing need to stay indoors can lead to mental, emotional, and physical challenges a person needs to face. However, these obstacles can be a struggle to accept for older adults that live by themselves.

The risks of being old and alone

Some elderly individuals prefer the comfort and privacy of being alone. They’re satisfied with committing to their routines and going about their day at home and occasionally meeting with friends and family. However, staying by themselves can expose them to many potential risks. Besides the threat of mental ailments that can strike without warning, even a little trip and fall can put them in a critical state. 

If staying home alone at all times is no longer safe or healthy, you need to step in and make decisions for them. In this article, we’ll share four signs your elderly loved one needs company.

Their home is starting to look unkempt

A cluttered house isn’t always an indicator of poor living conditions. Sometimes your elderly loved ones are just unable to attend to the different parts of their home. This can be due to the difficulty of cleaning or not having the technical know-how to fix these areas. Although they need a housekeeper, they may be too stubborn to accept it.

They’re starting to let themselves go

Not all elderly individuals start to become untidy as they age. In fact, cleaning and organizing are some of the handful of routines they may find comfort in performing. A stack of milk cartons on the counter, a hamper full of dirty clothes, and clear signs of poor hygiene can be a sign of something off. 

If they’re not cleaning up after themselves, they may have a cognitive issue preventing them from finishing their routines. Since they won’t always be lucid enough to notice these signs themselves, you need to warn them and make them aware of their current state.

They’re building a cabinet full of strange medication

Understandably, many senior individuals aren’t too trusting of healthcare providers. This is especially true for seniors without the right healthcare plan. Instead of seeking a doctor, they tend to shop for over-the-counter medicine or herbal solutions for their illnesses. If you notice their medicine cabinet full of medication that their doctor doesn’t prescribe, it may be time to confront them about their well-being.

They’re always sleepy or tired

Elderly individuals that appear restless could have disrupted circadian rhythms. This means they’re not getting the right amount of sleep at the proper times of the day. Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and other chronic conditions can lead to these cognitive and physical disruptions. Since the elderly have more vulnerable immune systems, these extra hours of lost sleep can make them careless or unaware of their everyday actions. For this reason, they could be putting themselves at risk without them even knowing about it.


It’s not easy to confront your elderly loved ones about their living situation. However, it’s necessary to ensure their safety, even against their judgment. First, you can ask them what they truly feel and if the signs above apply to them. Next, get professional confirmation about their condition so you can provide for their needs. Once they understand the stakes of their situation, they’ll be open to compromise and look for a solution that everyone can agree on. Thankfully, there are several home care services for them to try.

If you need a home care agency in Denver, CO, we’re the right local firm to call. At Gateway Home Health, we provide a patient-centric service that treats every client as a part of our own family. Contact us today, and we’ll provide personalized home health solutions to fit your elderly loved one’s medical, physical, and emotional needs.

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