I live alone, and in a complex for "over 55" residents. The good thing is, it's a small town, not a lot of "break-in" type crime. My gun is literally inches from my hand at night, loaded, one in the chamber.
However, that's a plus only if I am aware of someone in the house. If I'm asleep, and someone gets to my bedroom, doesn't matter where the gun is. Anyone could be overpowered if half awake.
As I said, I live alone, so I'm thinking of getting a dog, for an alarm, as well as companionship.
During the day, the door is always locked, and I don't open the door if I don't know who is there. Having a dog that would bark when there is a knock or doorbell ring would also help, I think.