The number of Americans over age 65 who live alone, according to a report by the Pew Research Center.
The percentage of those who are women. And the number rises to 80 percent after age 75. In 1990, women made up a greater share of older adults living alone (79 percent).
The vast majority of people polled (87 percent) want to stay in their own home and community as they age. And that means that lots of older people are choosing to stay home and live alone.
There are lots of great new tech gadgets and services that help monitor home and health for people living alone. And some regional police departments are helping too.
You can easily make yourself and love ones safer with these 5 tips:
1. Lighting - brighter light and more of it ! Color contrast helps everything to be more visible For example: paint the risers and the stair steps contrasting colors, it is much easier to distinguish and helps to prevent falls. Emergency lighting needs to go on automatically in a power outage and solar night lights both indoors and out are a great way not to get caught in the dark. Leave the light on in the bathroom -light the way for getting up in the night. Remember - Your cell phone has a built in flashlight
2. Tape down rugs and Runners - knowing that you won't catch yourself on the edge of a rug allows for better movement and will reduce falls.
3. Check the Thermostat- make sure that both heating and cooling systems are up to date and doing their job. Lots of people no matter their age are sensitive to the changing indoor climate.
4. Consider Tidying Up - So that you know where things are, there are fewer trip hazards and less " stuff" to take care of. It turns out that all those things you have been saving for the future or to leave for loved ones, may not be as important as you thought.
5. Read and follow the Directions - Lots of us know we should and somehow never do! This is most important for medications and supplements. Keep a magnifying glass handy for all that fine print. Keep a checklist of the date and time you should and do take any pills or potions. There are great free apps for this if you prefer to use your phone or tablet to keep track.
Stay Safe and Happy at Home!