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Is It Safe to Leave Your Elderly Loved One Home Alone?

New Jersey Elder Safety

Many members of the so-called “sandwich generation” either share their homes with frail and elderly parents or, if they continue to live alone, make sure they have around-the-clock live-in care.

This begs the question, however, as to whether it is okay during certain times to leave elderly parents home alone, whether it be for a day, half a day or even an hour or two.

There are many things to consider before you leave an elderly loved one home alone for any length of time.  How is their sight, hearing and memory?  Are they depressed or easily confused? Have you discussed their health problems with a doctor? What follows is a brief checklist of questions you should ask yourself and discuss with a doctor before you leave an elderly loved one home alone.  Keep in mind that if you answer no to any of these questions, you have your answer.

  • Can they get out of the house on their own in case of an emergency?
  • Do they know their address and can they get back inside on their own?
  • Can they react properly and promptly to a fire alarm or smoke detector?
  • Can they relay emergency information over the phone and call 911?
  • Can they take necessary medication on their own and do they have access to it?
  • Is their judgment sound with respect to who they should and should not allow into the house?
  • Can they cook or prepare food and use electrical appliances?
  • Can they manage to use the bathroom by themselves?
  • Are they steady enough to avoid falling should they need to get up?

New Jersey’s Expert Home Care provides professional and reliable home health care and companion care for NJ seniors, helping them with their daily living activities since 1984. Please call us toll free at 800-848-2336 when you have elder care related questions or need assistance.

Posted by: Frank Esposito, Vice President of Expert Home Care

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