Seniors living independently may not be safe on their own. This holiday season, if you are visiting an elderly person living alone and are concerned for their welfare, follow these four steps to see how they are coping:
1. Hug Your Loved One – With a full embrace around their back share your love, but also feel for frail frames or prominent bones indicating a decline in weight. Clothes can hide a lot. Sometimes seniors are not receiving proper nutrition or a medical condition is contributing to weight-loss.
2. Check the Refrigerator – Take a glance inside the refrigerator for expired food, lack of fresh vegetables or even something that’s not supposed to be in there (television remote control?). Seniors living on their own need to have access to nutritious food. Lack of nutrition or dehydration can affect health.
3. Review the Mail – If your loved one is a family member, glance through the recent mail to ensure that bills are being paid in a timely manner. Also, look for scams that target seniors.
4. Inspect the Car – If the senior is still driving, check the exterior of the car for dents and dings that may indicate that they can no longer manage driving alone.