It can be tough when you’re a senior who lives alone and doesn’t have the support of immediate family or friends to rely on. Fortunately, there are ways to create your own personal networks and feel fully self-sufficient.
Build Your Own Social Circles
Many older individuals have lost family and friends over the years, but you can build your own unique circle of caring individuals.
- Join a house of worship or senior center and ask about special interest groups you’d like to become part of.
- Volunteer in your community – it’s a sure way to meet other caring individuals and make like-minded friends.
- Meet your neighbors – drop off some cookies or invite someone out to tea. Getting to know people in close physical proximity can help you feel more secure.
Be Prepared For Emergencies
Anticipate potential emergencies that could arise and plan for them. Even if you never need to use them, you’ll know you have a safety net.
- In our cold climate, prepare for power outages, dress for warmth, and keep a 10-day supply of non-perishable food and water in stock.
- Find a reliable local handyman you can call on when you need minor repairs and fixes, and sign up for a roadside service plan.
- Put emergency services numbers in your contacts and keep a pre-charged phone charger on hand.
Safety Proof Your Home
When you live alone, it’s essential to avoid slip-and-fall accidents. This can start with improving your balance.
- Have safety railings installed in bathtubs.
- Be mindful of flooring that can be slippery.
- Make sure your stairwell, hallways, and driveways are well-lit.
Identify a Financial Advisor
Unfortunately, seniors can be prone to phishing scams and other financial maneuverings of unscrupulous individuals.
- Talk to your bank, credit union, or senior center social workers about finding someone reputable to help you buy or sell a home and manage your finances.
- If you’re on a fixed income, arrange for auto withdrawals so you don’t accidentally miss a payment.
- If you’re making a big financial decision, like selling your home, ask distant but trusted friends or family to help you through the process to ensure you aren’t taken advantage of.
No one likes to feel vulnerable or alone, but by building your own circle of trusted intimates and asking for help from afar, you can allay many fears.