The Risks Of Being Home Alone For Senior Citizens

Written By: William Rivers
Reviewed By: William Rivers
Published: December 7, 2021
Last updated: March 31, 2023

As we age, we require a different degree of care and certain facilities that can help us in our daily tasks. They may need some help and support from time to time. For senior citizens living alone, however, the number and level of risks significantly increase. 

What are these risks, and what can be done to help lower these risks to ensure their safety? We talked to the experts, who explain the risks the elderly face when home alone.

Forgetting to Take Their Medications

As we age, many things can become more complex. For some, it's remembering to take their medication at the right time or even just getting around by themselves. Unfortunately for seniors who live alone and have no one to check in daily, these problems can lead to severe issues like falling downstairs or forgetting to eat. These are all common occurrences that the elderly can easily avoid with a simple weekly visit from someone to help if something goes wrong. 

Every day, there are countless reports of crimes happening worldwide, and unfortunately, many of these crimes target our elderly population. These people who have worked so hard to get where they are and enjoy their golden years in comfort and safety suddenly become victims with little warning or protection. It is disheartening, but it happens more often than people think. All seniors benefit from a home security system with monitoring to ensure their safety.

Lazarus Jackson, Editor-In-Chief ModernHomeSafety.com

Slipping in The Shower or Bath

Something plumbers hear about from time to time is seniors slipping in their showers or baths. This can obviously be a nightmare for a senior who is home alone and unable to call for help. My advice is to get a shower or bath designed for seniors if you can afford it. Additionally, I would notify loved ones when you're getting into the shower or bath and when you get out. This way, if they don't hear from you, they know something could be wrong.

Jake Romano, Project Manager John The Plumber

Falling, Not Eating Adequately, and Financial Exploitation

The largest problem with living alone is isolation, falling, not eating adequately, financial exploitation, and not taking one’s medication timely or at all. Often the first thing to change cognitively for elderly folks is their judgment. 

They begin doing unwise things such as climbing on stepladders to change lightbulbs when their balance and ambulation are not good. Some elderly folks get forgetful and/or confused. And being alone can lead to depression, cognitive decline if one is not stimulated, and an inability to recognize one's physical and cognitive decline. If people are fortunate to have responsible family or close friends in their lives in a meaningful way, the outcome for a satisfying future is improved.

Ellen Pober Rittberg, a journalist and caregiver author who was a caregiver to my mother for six years.

Anxiety and Depression

In my family, there are several senior citizens that I have had to take care of. For this reason, I can say that one of the risks of people being alone in the house is anxiety and depression. At older ages, it is more important than ever to be accompanied, to have conversations, and to keep the mind working. However, if an elderly person resides alone at home, he/she may suffer from anxiety and depression attacks, which may increase the risk of death or prolonged hospitalization. 

Cathy Mills, Director of Strategy Net Influencer


Injuries around the home - especially in the bathroom - in later life can be common, particularly as a result of falling or tripping over. Many people do not like to talk to friends or family members about incidents due to their desire to remain independent. It may also affect the quality of life as they stop activities they enjoy or adapt routines such as bathing due to the fear of falling.

Kamilla Revfy, SEO Executive at Mobility Plus; a UK leader in the design and installation of easy-access bathrooms for the elderly and less mobile.

Slips and Falls

As a home improvement professional, one of the biggest issues I’ve encountered when seniors are left alone in the house are slips and falls. These usually happen in the bathroom or while sleeping; they fall off the bed. Sometimes, these slips happen because of loss of balance (e.g., while they’re standing), and that’s when things can get dangerous.

Jack Miller is the Founder of How I Get Rid Of

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William Rivers is an editor with a master’s degree in Human Services Counseling at Maine State University. He has more than 20 years of experience working in the senior healthcare industry.
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