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Three Health Tips regardless of your age:

1. Don't live alone

  • Living alone doubled the chance of contracting or dying of severe heart disease for women over age 60 and men above 50, according to a 2006 Danish study which analyzed population data on more than 138,000 adults.
  • Seniors living alone are more prone to falls, arthritis and rheumatism, and vision disorders such as glaucoma or cataracts, according to a 2007 study of patients at four group practices in suburban London.
  • Middle-aged people living alone have more than double the risk for dementia and Alzheimer's disease than those who cohabitate (MedScape Today www.medscape.com/viewarticle/705667).
  • Living alone doubles a person's risk for heart disease according to the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.
  • Seniors who live alone have higher chances of developing depression due to lack of interaction with friends, undesirable life events, disability and financial strain (Journal of Aging and Health).

2. Dance for joy, for balance, for socialization; for mental acuity

Dozens of studies have confirmed that dance is the most effective exercise. Loss of balance is the number one reason for falls.

3. Eat healthy food, exercise and maintain a reasonable weight

These things not only affect your body but also your mind and well-being

Signs Someone Should Not Live Alone

  • When a person moves up to the Falling Class
  • When a person gets lost in familiar surroundings
  • When financial abilities deteriorate
  • When depression and drinking go hand in hand

Tips For Those Who Do Live Alone

  • Be safe.
    • Have people you can rely on if you're frightened
    • Remove tripping hazards, such as electric cords out of place, uneven rugs and replace poor lighting in common areas.
    • Put non-slip mats in showers and bathtubs, tub chairs, and grab bars in the shower that will help to remain safe in the bathroom.
    • Test smoke alarms regularly (every six months) and ask a friend or a neighbor to help you change batteries.
    • Store frequently used medications, kitchen items, snacks and other frequently used objects in low, easy-to-reach places to avoid using steps and ladders.
  • Keep medications and emergency numbers on your refrigerator.
    We offer anyone in Connecticut a free dry-erase board.
  • Get out of the house as much as possible for socialization, exercise and purpose. Senior centers offer all those advantages.

Tips for Those Who Are Housebound

  • Bring in as much of the outside as possible.
    • For daylight keep blinds open and consider full glass storm doors then keep the inside door open when it's sunny.
    • Keep plants, especially big ones that you have to care for.
    • Have a water scape.
    • Use aroma therapy, even scented reeds. Vary by season.
    • Install wall-sized land or seascapes.
  • Have a pet; you'll live longer and more happily
  • Develop a purpose that causes you to communicate regularly by phone, internet and web cams for when you don't have guests.
  • Vary your routine and use different rooms for changing purposes. Example: eat steak for breakfast in the living room, lunch next to the window with the best view; dine on omelets or pancakes with a friend in the kitchen.
  • Develop 7 friends – one for each day of the week. Develop a scrap book for each with clippings you think would be of interest to enhance your conversation. I've seen this develop to clubs with conference calls, "The Tuesday Club" for example.
  • Use mobile health technology. Learn and encourage friends to learn CPR; wear a medical alert pendant or bracelet; take advantage of technology that monitors diseases or alerts others to unusual conditions. Keep a cell phone on you.

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Nearly 30 million Americans live alone

– One third of them are people 65 years and older.
– 7.5 million senior women and 2.6 million senior men live alone (U.S. Census Bureau).
– By the year 2020, there will be 13.3 million seniors living alone and 85% of those will be women.

For many seniors, living alone is preferable to living with an adult child, being placed in a retirement home or even living in an assisted living facility.