Signs It May Be Unsafe for Elderly Living Alone at Home


When loved ones grow older, it can be difficult to tell the difference between age-related decline and something more serious. Changes are bound to happen, whether it be a decrease in activity or a slower pace of operation. However, it’s important to know the difference while there’s still time to make a beneficial change.


Is it time for assisted living?

When a change is necessary, GreenField Court can accommodate your loved one’s assisted living needs. Catering to seniors who need some assistance with their daily activities, the Lancaster locale offers an amenity-rich residential setting that affords residents all the help they need—as well as the freedom, comfort, and peace of mind they need to live their best life. Additionally, homey living spaces and restaurant-style dining help connect each resident to our continuing care community. Thanks to our committed staff, these residents have the support to address any changes their age elicit.

But again, how do you know it’s time to consider an assisted living option like GreenField Court? According to Alan Gruber, M.D., a psychiatrist with a private practice in Massachusetts, there are several ways a loved one can tell if an elderly parent or relative may be unsafe living alone.

Here are signs to look for if you are concerned that your elderly loved one living alone is experiencing something other than the gradual effects of aging:


Missed appointments

Failing to meet the doctor for an appointment without cancelling in advance may be a sign of declining health.



Focus on whether your senior parent or relative is maintaining their grooming, hygiene, and dressing according to the season.



A failure to recognize familiar spaces, getting lost, or wandering in well-known areas could be early signs of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.


Memory loss

Forgetting something at the store is a sign of “benign” memory loss; forgetting something at the store and not remembering that you did when someone reminds you of it is “malignant,” or pathological memory impairment, and bears a closer look.


Word problems

Not being able to recall a common word for something, or frequently repeating oneself can also be a symptom of a cognitive impairment like dementia.


Financial issues

Sending money to previously unknown “charities” or other out-of-the-blue expenditures can signal an inability to exercise appropriate judgment.


Physical aggression

A senior who attacks others because they are believed to pose a threat shows an inability to control feelings of distress.


Inaccurate statements

Signs of dementia may include “psychotic ideation,” in which clearly untrue assertions occur, such as: “They’re talking about me on TV” or “I saw men in my bedroom last night.”


Unopened mail

Watch for unpaid bills or other neglected household duties.


Spoiled food

Food left unrefrigerated or kept around long after its “sell by” date can indicate instability.


Poor nutrition

Pay attention to loss of appetite, unwillingness to cook for themselves, or weight loss.


Scorched pans

These may indicate the inability to cook safely and could pose a fire hazard.



Unexplained bruises or injuries are likely to be signs of falling.



Look for dents and scrapes in your parent’s car or home that cannot be explained or recalled. Be sure to drive and stay with your family member to determine whether or not he or she is safe behind the wheel and at home.

To learn more about assisted living services at GreenField Court and The GreenFields Continuing Care Community, visit thegreenfields.org/assisted-living or call (716) 684-8400 today.


About The GreenFields Continuing Care Community

The GreenFields Continuing Care Community provides for the physical, social, and spiritual needs of residents in a Christian environment. In addition to skilled nursingsubacute rehabilitation, and outpatient therapy at GreenField Health & Rehabilitation Center, The GreenFields offers a variety of living arrangements and support levels based on individual needs. This includes independent living apartments in GreenField Manor; assisted living apartments in GreenField Court; and memory care and enhanced assisted living in GreenField Terrace.

The GreenFields resident



5959 Broadway
Lancaster, NY 14086

The Niagara Lutheran Health System does not discriminate in the admittance of residents or the hiring of employees relative to age, race, creed, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, sexual preference gender, gender identity, blindness, handicap, sponsor, marital status, or religion.

Niagara Lutheran Health Foundation

Contact Us

Follow Us