Senior Citizens – Alone

While not all senior citizens live alone, an astonishing number of them do, some in their own homes. In an apartment building such as that underfoot, there are not more than about a half-dozen couples as a rule.  There might be more, but it’s maybe ten or fifteen percent of the residents at the most.  While the space is not enormous, even the efficiencies could accommodate two people with just some careful planning, although some such apartment complexes are said to be smaller.  The point is, the people are people alone, which is good in a way and not so good in some ways. 

The “good in a way” is not only freedom to come and go and do as one sees fit, it also includes the privacy that’s a godsend when one does something klutzy or stupid (like spilling food down one’s front).  The “not so good in some ways” can be things like being in some kind of predicament where a little help to get out of it would be useful.  The being alone really comes home to roost when there is a medical emergency of some kind.  Yes, there is an emergency pull cord that will get the fire department.  And, yes, there is someone behind one of the doors in the hall that will help, but….

Even in a family situation (mother, father, two or three children at least one of whom has reached something like the age of reason) there are times when the people are alone.  Disaster (and crime) has hit because a person was alone – a young able-bodied person.  Being alone is not unique.  It is more concentrated and of longer duration in the old folks’ homes if they are technically apartment complexes rather than something like a nursing home.  And, it’s not a situation that can be easily changed without the loss of independence, that rather choice quality that makes a person an individual. 

Getting old is not all it’s cracked up to be.