How to Know When a Senior Becomes Incapable of Living Alone

Living Alone
Old lonely woman sitting near the window in his house with flowers

People from the older generations were tough and many of them are still tough as nails even today. Unfortunately, age catches up with everyone and eventually, every elder will need at least some assistance in their old age. If you have a parent, grandparent, or anyone else in the family who is living alone, it might be time to consider whether they are indeed capable of living alone any longer. 

Since we are discussing a proud, highly self-sufficient generation, it is possible that they may not ever tell you themselves. Which is why you should take a closer look yourself. As long as you know what to look for, the signs should be there. Next up, we will discuss exactly what to look for the next time you decide to pay them a visit.

Disparity in Cleanliness

There are teens and young adults living in room conditions that would make the house of their arthritic grandparent look like it was just deep cleaned! Then there are seniors who used to be those teens and young adults, so disparity in behavior is what you should be looking for. If an elderly individual’s home looks just as it always did, that indicates they are cleaning it just as often as they used to, whether that’s up to your own standard of cleanliness or not.

However, if their living room, kitchen, bathroom, yard, garden, etc., looks significantly dirtier than what you are used to seeing, it indicates they are no longer able to take care of their home cleaning duties. It could be that they simply forget their cleaning chores, or perhaps they are physically unable to take them on anymore. Whatever that reason maybe, it’s a clear indicator that they now need assistance to live in a healthy indoor environment.

Rapid Weight Loss

Unless the senior is an exceptionally fit individual who had started paying extra attention to his/her fitness regime recently, rapid weight loss in elders should be taken very seriously. One of the most common causes of sudden and unexplainable weight loss in elders is forgetting to eat and drink. Such forgetfulness can be brought on by a number of neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia.

Seek medical consultation immediately and make sure that they are no longer left to live alone. If someone is not available to live and care for them throughout the day, find a reputable nursing home where they will receive the care that they need. To find one, just do a quick Google search and check the reviews. For example, if you live in St Louis, search for “nursing homes near me in St Louis” to see your available options.


Depression is more prevalent in elders than it is in most age groups but the symptoms are often quite different. Loss of friends, family members, distance from children, and a gradual decline in health are all potent, valid causes of depression. If you find them to be sad on your visits, then they should not be living alone. That applies even if they are physically healthy for the time being.

Sometimes the elderly will tell you about the perils of living alone on their own, especially if they are particularly overwhelmed by them. It is imperative that such confessions are not ignored.