Whether it’s by choice or circumstance, many Australians live alone.
More than one-quarter of our senior population live alone, and 24% of non-dependent people with disability are more likely to live by themselves.
There are some great advantages to solo living. Freedom and independence immediately spring to mind. You can establish your own routines, and develop your own hobbies and interests, promoting a sense of empowerment. However, there are some aspects of living alone to be mindful of.
Here are our Top 3 tips to help ensure your health and safety when living alone.
1. Nurture friendships.
Living by yourself is a great opportunity to re-establish old friendships, or create and nurture new ones. Being social stimulates your mental health. Enjoying good conversation and having a laugh can ward off feelings of anxiety, depression, and loneliness. If friends or family don’t live close by for face-to-face visits, make regular phone calls to them instead. Just hearing a friendly, familiar voice can make you feel good. To meet new people who may share a similar interest, try joining a community group. If circumstances make staying social difficult, there are social support services that can help.
2. Safeguard your safety.
Safety is important for everyone, especially when living alone. Taking steps to stay on top of your safety will allow you to go about your daily life with confidence. If you have health concerns, plan accordingly. One idea is to create a type of ‘buddy’ system. A buddy may be a family member, friend, care worker, or neighbour. Arrange for your buddy to either call, text, email, or simply pop in to visit at regular intervals to check on your welfare. Safeguarding your safety also means making sure your home is safe to live in. Check your locks, sensor lights, smoke alarms, flooring, and gutters. Home modifications may be necessary if you have mobility issues. Install grab bars in wet areas to prevent falls, and replace stairs with ramps.
3. Be prepared.
In the event you find yourself stuck at home due to stormy weather, a heatwave, or another emergency, it’s best to be prepared. Keep a three-day supply of medications, essential pantry items, and bottled water. Store a torch and batteries, and extra blankets where they’re easy to grab. If you wear glasses, make sure you have a spare pair. Ensure you’ve stored the phone numbers of emergency family contacts, local emergency services, and your home care provider in your phone. Most importantly, make sure your phone is always charged and within easy reach. As Robert Baden-Powell says; be prepared.
If you live alone, are older, or live with disability, our home care services may help. We provide services and supports through Home Care Packages, NDIS funding, or as a lifestyle choice. You can learn more about us here.