Although there are things you can do to give yourself and your family members some peace of mind, as you continue to remain in your home, loneliness and depression are things only you can take steps to minimize. Some planned activities can help with this. Doug’s mother started her own baking business at 80. She lost money on everything she prepared but loved what she did and got to interact with many people.
Look at the newest electronic “helps” that are available:
A simple security system is a great start.
There is a video buzzer that can be set up at the front door and monitored wherever you are. It allows you to see who is at your door and give them access to your residence.
A “life line” or specialized phone service can provide quick help if or when it is needed.
A video conferencing system can allow you to both see and talk with family members.
Some areas have a telephone service available that monitors eating habits, medications taken, blood pressure, glucose levels, moods and when visitors arrive and leave. Some services also keep a child informed as to how a loved one is doing.
Specialized sensors are available that keep track of running water, people wandering at unusual times, appliances that have been left on..etc. They have auditory reminders set up with familiar voices of someone the person trusts saying, “Turn the stove off…Turn the water off…” Some systems send a text message to a relative if a sensor is set off.
Another consideration is having a “roomer” living in the residence with the senior. They could provide some security, especially at night. Possibly they could be paid to help with yard work, housekeeping, meal preparation or transportation. A friend’s brother lived with an elderly widow for many years. She provided a home for him and he provided household help, companionship and a sense of security at night. These two developed an amazing friendship over many years.
You could also hire someone to provide daily meals, reminders for medications and needed companionship.
Many communities have seniors’ centers with a wide variety of activities. Bus service, for a nominal fee, lets them participate in things that interest them and often there is a nutritious lunch. Some retirement residences also provide this service.
If you are afraid to go “alone” ask a friend to go with you. A family member WOULD NOT go on a senior bus trip alone but did go with a friend. There he met his future wife.