The challenge of living alone over the age of sixty-five

     January 9, 2014
    By Javier Garcia

    Some weeks ago, when the Spanish Population and Housing Census was published by the National Institute of Statistics, a newspaper article highlighted the fact that the number of people over the age of sixty-five living alone had risen by 25% over the previous ten years.

    This increase translates into 1.7 million homes in which the sole resident is over the age of sixty-five, representing 9.5% of the total housing census. Moreover, approximately a third of them are women, some 1.2 million cases, which might be explained by their longer life expectancy.

    The data enables us to understand a series of circumstances that have become more apparent in recent years, such as, amongst others, elderly people’s wish to remain independent, their choice to stay in their own homes and in good health for more years.

    An elderly person living alone in their own home poses a care challenge to health services, meaning they must be prepared for any eventuality, making continuous contact and prevention fundamental. Likewise, this raises another series of situations which must be dealt with, such as the need for specific accompaniment and socialization initiatives. In any case, helping the elderly to remain in familiar surroundings should be the priority, to the fullest extent possible, since it improves their quality of life and encourages them to remain active.

    In view of these issues, Kwido seeks to provide solutions in the homes of seniors who live alone. With this situation becoming more common and, in many cases, recommendable, Kwido’s features allow the elderly user to stay in direct contact with their family, doctor and caregiver; as well as helping them maintain their cognitive skills and reminding them to take their medication, for example. On the other hand, adopting this remote approach also allows care professionals to monitor elderly patients’ health and emotional state, saving both time and resources whilst limiting transfers to medical installations to serious conditions.

    In 2014, Kwido would like to accompany those who, for various reasons, live at home alone.