“Ohana means family. Family means nobody gets left behind or forgotten.” This quote is taken from the popular Disney movie Lilo & Stitch where it highlights the importance of family. As a caregiver, you have seen families come and go at the home where you work at and most of the time these are painful to watch as these families either have decided or are forced to leave their loved ones there. But taking things in retrospect, this may be good for the elderly because growing old alone is not very healthy.
Think of it as this. You have an elderly loved one to take care for at home but you have so much to do like work and kids. Who will look after your elderly when you’re out of the house the whole day? Will they be alright all by themselves? Will they wander out by themselves or not? Are they capable of fending off any strangers that may come by the house? Will they be able to cook their meals for themselves? These are just some of the questions asked by families whenever they consider caring for their elderly themselves or opt to hire for the help of nursing homes and caregivers.
If you are still at that crossroads here are some questions that you might want to look into to see if your elderly could live by themselves.
1. Does your elderly know how to leave the house if the situation calls for it? Are they still aware on which doors lead to the exit?
2. Do they tend to wander off often? If they do, do they know how to get home on their own, much less know where they live?
3. Do they know the emergency number in your home? If so, do they know when to dial for 911?
4. In case of certain events, can they tell danger signs such as smoke for fire or a mysterious person loitering at the lawn?
5. Do they always need someone to monitor them for medicines or any health conditions?
Aside from this, another reason why the elderly should not be left alone is because growing old alone has been proven to not being healthy. This is not a strange scenario as most seniors cannot afford to live in a nursing home and opt to live alone when they grow older. This can prove to be risky, especially if the senior is suffering from diseases such as Alzheimer’s and dementia. Much more that they are in an age where being socially active is of utmost importance as loneliness can be crippling for them. In fact, loneliness can lead to physical and psychological problems from high blood pressure to depression.
Caregivers should be aware of these as they, aside from the family, are often the ones most involved to a senior’s health.