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HEALTHY AGEING

How to live alone and be happy

The thought of living alone can be a daunting one, but there are ways you can live alone and be happy.

November 06, 2020

Young boy with grandad walking

Going from living with someone to living alone can be a difficult adjustment, but it doesn’t mean you have to feel lonely or cut off from the rest of the world. As long as you keep busy, stay in touch with friends and family regularly, find some hobbies that you love to do or take up volunteering, living alone can be enjoyable. You can find tips on  how to be happy living alone in this article.

How do I learn to live alone?

Whether your children have all moved out, you’re going through a divorce or you’re grieving a deceased partner, learning to live alone may take some time. But it is possible and there are some things you can do to make it easier.

1. Stick to your routine

Whatever your routine was before you started living alone, you should try to stick to it. It’s important to keep some aspects of your life the same as they were previously, so whether you used to go to a book club on a Tuesday evening or have a cup of tea with a friend on a Friday morning, keep these things in the diary. They could help to make the adjustment a little easier.

2. Speak to your loved ones

It’s easier said than done, and many people prefer to bottle their feelings up, but it’s important to keep talking to your friends and family. Not only will an active social life help to prevent you from becoming lonely, but your loved ones will likely be a good shoulder to cry on and will listen to any problems you have. They’ll probably make you feel better too.

3. Think about the tasks that you now need to do

Before you lived alone, there may have been a few shared chores or tasks that were done by different members of the family. It’s likely that these will fall to you, but this isn’t something you should feel daunted by. Take your time adjusting to the change and think about how and when these extra tasks will be completed.

It may be that you have to start paying the bills out of your bank account instead of someone else’s or mow the lawn once a month. Consider the tasks that you may be unable to do yourself, such as cleaning the windows, and how you can get around this. You may need to arrange help with these jobs.

If your partner did all the cooking, now could be a good time to learn this skill for yourself.

 

How to be comfortable living alone

Having a friend or family member in the house with you may make you feel safer than being alone. However, it’s likely that you’ll be spending time alone in your house, and this thought could make you uncomfortable.

1. Get an emergency alarm

If you want to feel more protected at home, there are a few things you can try. For instance, you could invest in an emergency alarm for the elderly. These devices, also sometimes known as OAP personal alarms, can be worn around the neck or wrist and pressed should you have a fall or other accident when there’s no one else around. They could help to make you feel more relaxed at home, knowing that help is available at all times. These personal emergency alarms should be worn in the bath or shower too as they’re waterproof.

2. Buy a light timer

You may want to invest in a light timer so that you can programme your lights to come on and off at set times to give the appearance that someone’s at home even if you’re out.

3. Install a security light

You could also install a security light that will come on when someone walks near to your house.

 

How to learn new skills

Keeping busy is an important part of living alone so it might be a good time to start learning a new skill. Not only can this be beneficial for your brain and cognitive function, but it can also be fun.

It may be that you want to educate yourself and learn some new information. You could try doing an online course or attend a local book club. If you’d love to learn some more about gardening, you could purchase a few books and some new plants and get some light physical activity in the garden. This can be an especially nice pastime in the warm summer months.

To ensure you’re spending time with your loved ones too, you could even pass on a skill to a grandchild. For example, you could do some baking together or teach them how to knit.


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