The Pros & Cons of Living Alone
Making the decision of whether or not to live alone is a hard one, and one that you should think very carefully about.
Depending on your unique situation, if may be better for you to enlist the support of others, be they family members or professionals, or continue to live on your own. Have a look at this list of pros and cons to help you make an informed decision!
Pros of Living Alone
There are several reasons to live on your own – whether by force of habit, attachment to your house, or the inability to pay for expensive live-in care or a place in an assisted living facility. Consider these factors carefully to help you decide what plan of action is best for you.
One of the most important pros to consider when debating whether or not to live alone is your independence. It’s incredibly fulfilling to be able to live your life on your schedule, perform everyday tasks without the assistance or needing the approval of others, and ultimately have control of your life. While living in an assisted living home or nursing home can have many benefits, often the options for daily or weekly activities is limited and done according to a strict schedule. Similarly, if you move in with family members then you’ll likely need to adjust to their schedule such as work obligations, children’s activities, and so on.
Continuing to live on your own, however, will afford you independence in almost everything you do. So if you relish being able to go to the grocery store when you want and always having control of the television remote, then you may want to remain living on your own!
Living on your own can also be more cost-effective, especially when faced with the option of a nursing home or assisted living facility. Such facilities can cost thousands, not including any specialized care that you require or certain activity costs. This can be an undue strain on your finances, especially if you have limited financial resources: for instance, you may not own your current home or its value may not cover the costs of years in a specialized facility.
In addition, depending on the set-up of such homes, you may be required to pay a set fee for utilities that exceeds the current amount you pay each month. For instance, you may have to switch to a different cable or internet provider if the facility is out of the remit of your current one, which can add additional costs in switching fees. You may also need to pay for a particular “meal plan” at a nursing home or assisted living facility, which can be quite frustrating if you enjoy cooking your own food – in addition to being more expensive! So be sure to balance your checkbook and weigh up the differences in costs of any homes and facilities you’re thinking about!
Cons of Living Alone
While there are some great reasons for living alone, there are also some potential downsides to this arrangement. Your health and mobility may be deteriorating as you continue to age, and living alone can potentially lead to isolation from your friends and family members. Weigh these factors up with the pros listed above to help inform your final decision!
Safety & Health Concerns
One of the major points of consideration when deciding whether or not to live alone is your health. As we grow older, our general health and mobility levels can decrease, which can make living alone a challenge. Perhaps you can no longer make it up a flight of stairs, or what was once a simple DIY home repair becomes a mammoth task. It might become harder to keep track of your daily medications, and other health tasks such as putting on a sleep apnea mask, taking blood sugar readings, or doing at-home physical therapy exercises can become challenging when on your own.
While a great safety measure to have in place is a medical alert system, which can inform emergency services and/or your loved ones if you have fallen or suffered from another health emergency, you may also need more basic everyday assistance from a family member or healthcare professional. If you feel like this scenario fits your current situation, then you may need to reconsider living alone. There are several different ways to accommodate your health and safety, however, so don’t worry about packing your bags for the assisted living home just yet! Many companies provide in-home visits from nurses who can come by according to your schedule for a daily check-up, medicine administration, or anything else you might need. This is a great compromise if you are concerned for your health and safety, but don’t quite want to move from your home just yet.
Another con of living alone when you’re a senior is the potential for loneliness and isolation. This is especially true if you are newly on your own because of the loss of a spouse, which in itself can be a cause of loneliness and depression. Unfortunately, as we age, so do our friends and family members – deaths of loved ones can become an all too common occurrence, and living alone can further amplify a sense of isolation from others. You may also have restrictions on your driving, or not own a car at all, which can make it difficult to spend time with friends or participate in group activities or classes. Being alone can then become habitual, which can ultimately lead to depression and even agoraphobia. So if you’re a social butterfly and want to still meet new people and engage in fun activities in your senior years, consider moving into an assisted living facility, nursing home, or with family members in order to maintain ties with your social circles!
There are several things to consider when faced with the choice of living alone or moving into an assisted living facility or with family members. Be sure to weigh up all the pros and cons before making the right decision for you!