After the sharp grief of loss has softened and the hive of activity has calmed, the time will come to get on with the business of living after the loss of a spouse.
Women in today’s society are less likely to be at a total loss when found in the position of becoming a widow. Most older women drive and pay the bills and know what’s going on with investments. Some more than others can handle a few basic tools for home maintenance as well as program the remote but there are a few helpful items that older gals living on their own without a man in the house may find extremely helpful.
For those women who may have shrunk a few inches over the years or have always been vertically-challenged, a good sturdy step ladder at the ready to reach high shelves without risk of toppling over or breaking the china is an excellent investment. Only use a step ladder if you are able to climb and balance without risk of harm, otherwise have a loved-one help move things to a shelf you can reach easily.
Collect a set of basic tools that you can use easily and are conveniently located. Knowing where things are when the need occurs is half the battle to keeping a home in good repair. And nothing boosts your confidence more than fixing something yourself! You can learn to do almost anything with the help of YouTube; always check this resource before shelling out money for a simple task like changing a car headlight or patching a dent in the wall.
Opening jars can be a challenge for older hands, especially if you have arthritis. Check online or at your local pharmacy for a wide variety of jar openers.
Learn the size of your furnace filters and buys them in bulk. Make a note to replace them on the calendar.
Be prepared for power outages by keeping flashlights on hand along with new batteries; try changing the batteries when you change the clocks for daylight savings and standard time.
For many women living alone, a security system is the best investment they can make. Not only will you sleep better and have help at the touch of a button, today’s systems offer video cameras that can let you keep an eye on the front door from your smartphone wherever you go. Technology is your friend, learn to use it to your advantage!
If you are worried, or your family expresses concern about knowing your whereabouts, there are a number of cell phone apps that can let family or friends know if you haven’t checked in by a prearranged time. Apps like Kitestring, Companion or Patronus connect you with family, friends and emergency services through your smartphone in seconds.
Because women have longer life expectancies and often marry men older than themselves, it is not uncommon for women to live as widows for 15 to 20 years. Widows are less likely to remarry after the loss of a spouse and only by bravely taking on new roles and learning how to maintain independence safely will women be able to enjoy a good quality of live on their own in older age.