Older adults alone at home ask, "Who will take care of me?"


Last updated 5/14/2020 at 3:25pm

FALLBROOK – For scores of older adults who live at home alone, the coronavirus pandemic has given rise to a number of serious questions about the inherent risks of being on their own. Questions like: What happens if I catch the virus? Who will take care of me if I get sick? And, should I be living someplace safer right now?

Before the pandemic, families frequently dropped in to check up on their loved ones. Now, even if relatives are just across town, they are often busy home-schooling their own children, working from home or locked down themselves. Out-of-state relatives cannot jump on a plane and be there if they are needed.

With older adults being identified as the population most at risk for contracting the virus, family members often choose not to make unnecessary home visits to their older relatives to prevent any possibility of exposure. Instead, older adults are relying on deliveries of basic provisions at home or putting themselves at greater risk by visiting grocery stores and pharmacies on their own.

For older adults who have never been afraid to live alone before, the new risks associated with COVID-19 have them worried about being more isolated and their safety. Even couples who are at home alone right now run the risk of picking up the virus and bringing it home to a spouse with each trip out of the house.

Caretaking under the "new normal" of pandemic circumstances has become difficult for many as the isolation sets in. As a result, many older adults are turning to assisted living as a safer option. Retirement communities offer an insulated environment with significant virus protections already in place, like controlled visitor access, daily temperature monitoring and the added peace of mind of having professional caregivers watching over residents.

"When our parents sold their Fallbrook home of 40 years, we were so grateful they were able to move to Silvergate. Now with the COVID-19 quarantine, we're so relieved that mom and dad have a beautiful, healthy place to be in during this global crisis," Bridget McGee, whose parents, Ann and Tom Keegan, moved to Silvergate nearly three years ago, said. "It's difficult not to be able to visit with them, but the Silvergate staff has gone above and beyond with healthy socializing, facilitating resident exercise, taking temperatures every day and providing tech support to residents."

Silvergate Fallbrook, an award-winning older adult community for nearly 30 years, recognized the challenges faced by older adults living alone at home. They have taken extensive measures to ensure the health and well-being of its residents – safety protocols that most people would find difficult to undertake at home on their own.

"We understand the uncertainty and fear that seniors can feel when they are home alone, especially right now," Patricia Martinez, executive director of Silvergate Fallbrook, said. "Most seniors need interaction with others and caregivers if they want to maintain their health and simply feel better from day to day. If you are at home struggling behind closed doors, we invite you to call us for advice or to talk about your situation. By reaching out to us from home, we can lift that burden of concern off seniors and help them bring normalcy and peace of mind back into their lives right now."

For those who are nervous about living alone, now may be exactly the right time to learn more about Silvergate Fallbrook. The community offers independent living, assisted living and memory care in a premier senior living community that features studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom accommodations.

To take a virtual tour or learn about apartment availability, call Helen Gray, marketing director for the community, at 760-728-8880 or visit http://www.Silvergaterr.com.

Submitted by Silvergate Fallbrook.


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