Seniors: Is it Safe to Live Alone?

Use the following Senior Safety Living Alone Checklist to help you determine if you (or your loved one) can still safely live on your own or if you should think about making other living arrangements.


Do you (or your loved one) have: 

  • Weakness or dizziness from an accident or fall?
  • Problems using kitchen appliances because of forgetfulness?
  • The need to get up and down stairs on a daily basis?
  • Medical equipment (wheelchair, walker, cane) prescribed for you that you’re not using?
  • Depressed feelings or a loss of interest in living?

Good Nutrition

Are you (or your loved one):

  • Unwilling or unable to use the kitchen to prepare meals?
  • Experiencing medical conditions due to poor nutrition (weight loss, anemia, malnutrition)?
  • Eating only certain foods – none of which meets nutritional needs?
  • Skipping or forgetting to eat meals?

Personal Care

Can you (or your loved one):

  • Get to the toilet when needed?
  • Wear protective undergarments or perform self cleanup if affected by incontinence?
  • Dress independently and appropriately?
  • Bathe safely and independently?


Do you (or your loved one):

  • Need someone to remind you to take your medicine properly?
  • Sometimes take an incorrect dose of medicine, either accidentally or on purpose?
  • Have physical limitations like arthritis or shaking that make it difficult to take medicines without spills or drops?
  • Need to inject medicines and can you measure the dosage and administer the injection?
  • Have a way to easily get assistance in the case of a medical emergency?
  • Need a hearing aid but haven’t gotten one or don’t use the one you have?

Social Functioning

Are you (or a loved one):

  • Able to manage your personal finances?
  • Confused or disoriented even in familiar settings?
  • Wandering away from home without a specific destination?
  • Behaving inappropriately in public (threatening others, etc.)?
  • Having mental or emotional problems that might be a threat to others?

* Reference: Senior Resource

Talk with Your Health Care Provider About Living Alone Safely

Share your responses (or those of your loved one) with your health care provider. He or she may be able to provide more tips on how to continue to live at home, comfortably and safely.