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Old 04-28-2018, 10:36 PM
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Dying alone: what safety measures are feasible?


Living alone has a lot of benefits, but also a few dangers. The classic danger is falling ill when you’re home alone and not being able to reach a phone for help. It’s not that irrational a fear; brain strokes are more common then people think and can incapacitate the sufferer so that he she cannot walk or crawl to a phone.

You may say: “If I don’t show up at work, they’ll contact me”. But what if they call you on the phone, don’t reach you and… then what? They might notice your absence, but they may only shrug and plan to bitch at you when you show up again.
But do your co-workers have your house key, or do they know how to reach someone who does have a house key?

A friend of mine, in his fities and a divorced dad of teenagers, said he wasn’t so much afraid of dying alone, but he WAS afraid of his kids coming to his house on the weekend to a gruesome sight. He knew of somebody who found his fathers body like that and was scarred for life.

I recently enrolled my eightly year old mom in a phone circle for that reason. It’s a simple idea: a social worker calls the first person on the list, she calls the next person, and so on and so on, all between 9 and 10 am. If the last person on the list doesn’t call back the social worker by 10 am, she finds out who broke the circle, and can let herself in with her set of keys.
My mom didn’t like the idea of a phone circle at first, ( “But that’s for old people!”) but now she loves the daily phone call she gets and gives, and the security of knowing that someone will come to her house if she breaks the phone circle.

So, if you live alone and want to tackle this problem, what have you done? Share your tips and tricks !
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Old 04-28-2018, 10:49 PM
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You may say: “If I don’t show up at work, they’ll contact me”. But what if they call you on the phone, don’t reach you and… then what? They might notice your absence, but they may only shrug and plan to bitch at you when you show up again.
But do your co-workers have your house key, or do they know how to reach someone who does have a house key?
This actually happened where I work. A highly reliable employee did not show up to work and did not call in, so the store director asked the police for a welfare check. Yep, turned out she had died - apparently while reading in her favorite chair.

My place of work does have emergency contact information for the employees as well.

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So, if you live alone and want to tackle this problem, what have you done? Share your tips and tricks !
Very informal "phone circle" type of thing - if my friends don't hear from me for a couple days they'll check into things. But I'm still relatively young and fit compared to folks in their 80's and 90's. I do sleep with the phone next to my bed. None of it is a perfect, solution, of course, but even if you live with someone it's possible they might not realize you're departed for the better part of a day what with busy schedules and all.
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Old 04-28-2018, 11:06 PM
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You can use Alexa (Amazon Echo Dot,...) to call 911 if you do the following setup:
https://www.komando.com/tips/440987/...xa-to-call-911
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Old 04-28-2018, 11:47 PM
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My Daddy died from a reaction to an antibiotic alone. He had called me and I told him I would be at his house for the weekend. I knew he was ill but not really concerned. He was 86 and the picture of health. Still working and very active. He collapsed in his bathroom sometime Thursday. And died in a few hours they think. An employee alerted me and the police when they couldn't get him on the phone or to the door. It was awful. If I had just planned to go earlier. I have blamed myself and everyone else in my grief over this. It has been 3 years and I am still recovering. Lately I have been in the bittersweet phase. I am able to look at pictures and retell the funny stories. So I am better. My advice is to make some kind of game plan and tell people especially if you have chronic heath issues.

Last edited by Beckdawrek; 04-28-2018 at 11:49 PM.
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Old 04-29-2018, 06:20 AM
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This actually happened where I work. A highly reliable employee did not show up to work and did not call in, so the store director asked the police for a welfare check. Yep, turned out she had died - apparently while reading in her favorite chair.
Me too. A cow-orker did not show up, we could not reach her by phone. We worked the night shift and we joked that she must have gotten lucky. Turned out she had committed suicide.


mmm
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Old 04-29-2018, 06:37 AM
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My inlaws live in a retirement community where this sort of thing is probably more common than it should be. They had a neighbor who was a rather unpleasant woman of specific habits, and when it was obvious her routine wasn't being followed, they called police. Turns out, she'd fallen/collapsed in the bathroom and was unable to get to the phone. She was alive when they found her, but she died a few days later. She was estranged from her children and I don't know if any of them made it to the hospital before she died. She was a very sad woman...
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Old 04-29-2018, 07:12 AM
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In some critical computer situations, such as industrial control systems that would let something harmful happen if they stop working, there's often a system feature called a "watchdog timer". It can be a separate little area in the main control chip. It is always running and timing itself, and every so often -- perhaps every second or even every 1/100 of a second, it checks to see whether some tiny task has been done, and then undoes it again. If the task is not done when it checks, it sounds an alarm, or shuts the system down in a safe controlled way, or engages some kind of emergency mechanism.

When you program the rest of the system you include instructions here and there that do the tiny task. If your program stops working, the tiny task goes undone and the watchdog catches it and acts.

People could do this. Your elderly neighbor could go out and put a flower pot on her porch railing every morning at dawn, and when you go to work you go put the flower pot back on the ground, but if it's not on the railing you go investigate.

We could easily have watchdog timer websites or phone services. You have to call a certain number every morning, or the service notices and acts on it. Or you have to go to the web site and click a button.

It might even be automatic, such as connected to the bathroom light switch, alarming if 18 hours pass without the switch moving.
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Old 04-29-2018, 07:33 AM
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My Mom sends me an email every morning without fail. It's our deal. She also has a medical alert button. She's 89
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Old 04-29-2018, 07:51 AM
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I recently enrolled my eightly year old mom in a phone circle for that reason. It’s a simple idea: a social worker calls the first person on the list, she calls the next person, and so on and so on, all between 9 and 10 am. If the last person on the list doesn’t call back the social worker by 10 am, she finds out who broke the circle, and can let herself in with her set of keys.
My mom didn’t like the idea of a phone circle at first, ( “But that’s for old people!”) but now she loves the daily phone call she gets and gives, and the security of knowing that someone will come to her house if she breaks the phone circle.
That seems so old fashioned & prone to failure for a couple of reason. If B starts a conversation with C then they don't get thru the phone chain by cutoff time. If D has a doctor's appointment & isn't home at the proscribed time it also breaks down.
The social worker then needs to investigate & determine where it failed. When not have the social worker send an email to everyone that they need to respond to. Are there that many elderly that don't have email anymore?

I could see a job not caring for the first day or two, especially if people sometimes work remotely, or the boss is out. If something happened on Fri night or Sat, it might be Tues or Wed before work raises an alarm. My sister is my emergency contact but she doesn't have a key.


OTOH, a shameless plug for something like RoadID*. For anyone who lives alone, a license does nothing to notify next of kin if you're in an accident. All PD knows is where you live, not anything about any of your relatives.



* I have one but am otherwise not involved w/ the company.
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Old 04-29-2018, 08:33 AM
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That seems so old fashioned & prone to failure for a couple of reason. If B starts a conversation with C then they don't get thru the phone chain by cutoff time. If D has a doctor's appointment & isn't home at the proscribed time it also breaks down.
The social worker then needs to investigate & determine where it failed. When not have the social worker send an email to everyone that they need to respond to. Are there that many elderly that don't have email anymore?
There are probably a non-trival number of elderly who have no e-mail.

My grandmother used a "phone circle" when she was still alive, much like what is described above but no social worker involved. Yes, there were some false alarms. So what? Better false alarms than failure to alarm.
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Old 04-29-2018, 08:51 AM
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I live alone and I have no plan. My mother and two sisters live in this town, but while we see each other often there's no regularly scheduled contact. I'll probably get hurt or fall ill and lie there for at least a day before family or work would try to contact me. It figures, dyling alone and in pain.
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Old 04-29-2018, 12:23 PM
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Yes, it's an issue. If something were to happen, it might be a week or more before I was found. Perhaps it's silly, but one of the precautions I take is not showering; I bathe instead. So there's no chance of me slipping and falling and cracking my head there.
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Old 04-29-2018, 12:35 PM
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Yes, it's an issue. If something were to happen, it might be a week or more before I was found. Perhaps it's silly, but one of the precautions I take is not showering; I bathe instead. So there's no chance of me slipping and falling and cracking my head there.
I had a former cow-orker; literally the week she retired (early) she started her bath & then had a stroke. Family found her the next day, but because the stopper was in & the water was running full for approx 24 hrs it overwhelmed the overflow valve, over the edge; down the floor/walls & ended up w/ about 6" in the basement. In addition to losing their aunt, the house had to be gutted before they could sell it due to all of the water damage.
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Old 04-29-2018, 12:48 PM
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This seems to be an issue technology is made for. The new 'Alexa' things, cell phones, medical alert buttons, home security systems. All these things can be used and simply taught to a person who is home alone and aging. It seems only reasonable. I am tech-challenged but I could learn at least a couple of those.
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Old 04-29-2018, 03:18 PM
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There's a whole market of selling alarm buttons to seniors. But they run on batteries and are likely to malfunction without it being obvious. What a nightmare to lie there injured, to press that ugly alarm button around your neck, and have nothing happen, and not even know if it worked or not. Plus, these things are typically bought by worrying kids and then NOT worn by the senior, because they are ugly and remind the person in an unpleasant way about their age and their vulnerability.

For people that use smartphones, there is no problem or stigma in always carrying your phone on your person. Although, in my own home; I tend to have the phone in it's charger or a different room or floor from where I am. As a woman without convenient pockets, who carries her phone usually in her purse, it's a bit cumbersome to have my phone on me or in my hands when I'm puttering about the house. I wish someone made and sold a more elegant an convenient version of this band that allows women to carry their phone on their upper arm.
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Old 04-29-2018, 03:24 PM
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... When not have the social worker send an email to everyone that they need to respond to. Are there that many elderly that don't have email anymore?
Yes, about one in 15 people in the Netherlands is functionally computer-illiterate. A lot of those are elderly. They are a quiet, easily overlooked group.

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People could do this. Your elderly neighbor could go out and put a flower pot on her porch railing every morning at dawn, and when you go to work you go put the flower pot back on the ground, but if it's not on the railing you go investigate.
The watchdog idea is a good one. My neighbour gets worried if I don't open my curtains in the morning.
Intelligent smoke alarms might be even be better candidates for your watchdog function. My smoke alarm, the NEST, records if anyone passes it during the night, and sends a notice to an phone number you can program in. It could be worth it to install one in a corridor and have your kids check their NEST app every mornign to see if someone passed underneath the NEST.

Last edited by Maastricht; 04-29-2018 at 03:26 PM.
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Old 04-29-2018, 03:51 PM
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This seems to be an issue technology is made for. The new 'Alexa' things, cell phones, medical alert buttons, home security systems. All these things can be used and simply taught to a person who is home alone and aging.
Interesting idea. But with my luck, I'd be hurt on the floor, calling out Alexa to call 911, while Alexa keeps saying things like "Do you want me to rent the movie Ninowan?" Or: "Sorry, but you will have to enter your Apple ID password first". I'd be dying AND annoyed to death.

Last edited by Maastricht; 04-29-2018 at 03:52 PM.
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Old 04-29-2018, 04:22 PM
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This app makes calling for help easier, and messages several people at once. Then it clearly indicates if anyone of them has taken action, eliminating the problem of everyone thinking everyone else may have done something. But the person still needs a phone on them.

And some more ideas. None of them perfect.

Last edited by Maastricht; 04-29-2018 at 04:25 PM.
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Old 04-29-2018, 06:00 PM
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Most smartphones in the UK have an emergency call feature which you can use without unlocking the phone. I've used it myself: a lady collapsed in the street and I used this feature on her phone to call an ambulance for her.
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Old 04-29-2018, 06:25 PM
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The neighbor thing would not work for me. I live where I have none. Middle of no-where.
I am young enough now it's not an issue. And there always my SO. He goes on lots of hunting and fishing trips and I am home alone. My kids are all grown. So if I fell off the deck and broke my leg I would be in a fix. I just last week got dog bit by a stray and I was able to get inside and call for help. Lucky Mr.Wrekker answered his phone. If he hadn't I would've called my sons house. He's about 15 mins from me. But it makes you think.
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Old 04-29-2018, 07:49 PM
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Keeping a phone on your person might solve it. If you're having a stroke, you can call someone and regardless whether you make sense, you'll scare their pants off and probably get some help. (And now I regret not reading the whole thread. Useless post. Sorry.)

Last edited by MonkeyCat; 04-29-2018 at 07:50 PM. Reason: Learned More
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Old 04-29-2018, 08:15 PM
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There are companies that provide a daily "are you okay?" telephone call. I've investigated these and at some point will employ their services. If something goes awry the service provider will notify my [close by] family and we will go from there.
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Old 04-30-2018, 01:44 AM
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There are several stories of people in apartment buildings banging on waterpipes to attract attention.
https://www.google.nl/amp/s/gizmodo....g-on-pipes/amp

But water pipes also make that sound on their own, so your neighbours may just get annoyed and call a plumber... https://home.howstuffworks.com/question89.htm
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Old 04-30-2018, 02:09 AM
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There's a whole market of selling alarm buttons to seniors. But they run on batteries and are likely to malfunction without it being obvious. What a nightmare to lie there injured, to press that ugly alarm button around your neck, and have nothing happen, and not even know if it worked or not. Plus, these things are typically bought by worrying kids and then NOT worn by the senior, because they are ugly and remind the person in an unpleasant way about their age and their vulnerability.
I wonder if anyone has ever done a comprehensive list of what sort of systems and protocols are available, or any research on which ones have proven most effective. The way people interact with technology is still evolving and I think there's still room for a lot of creative approaches. I suspect that an active system, one that queries the person and needs an affirmative response, would be more effective than something like an alert button that needs to be pressed only when something has gone wrong.

I had this happen to me once. I fell and hit my head. Didn't think it was that bad, but when I woke up in the morning I was so dizzy that it was all I could do to get out of bed and crawl to the bathroom. My phone was downstairs, so that wasn't gonna happen. I honestly can't remember if work, or anyone else, called to check up on me.
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Old 04-30-2018, 10:09 AM
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There's a whole market of selling alarm buttons to seniors. But they run on batteries and are likely to malfunction without it being obvious.
Where is this assertion of likely malfunction coming from? I have been researching these items for an elderly relative and have seen no suggestion that this is the case.

By the way, Life Alert advertises that its batteries last ten years and do not need recharging, and I have again seen no suggestion that its representation is inaccurate.
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Old 04-30-2018, 11:05 AM
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I forget where I read this - it was an article somewhere, so may be distorted. But it said that in Japan you can buy a rice cooker that can be programmed to send an email notice whenever it's used. You give it to your elderly relative, programmed with your email, and get an email once or twice a day. If the email doesn't come, you check in directly, or indirectly through a neighbor or whatever your Plan B is.

Most Americans don't use a rice cooker every day, but I'm sure the basic idea could be adapted to a coffee maker.

Two days after my dad had a heart attack, the restaurant where they ate breakfast every morning called to check, because they hadn't said anything about going on a trip. Not quite soon enough to be a failsafe, but it was nice.
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Old 04-30-2018, 11:24 AM
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Where is this assertion of likely malfunction coming from? I have been researching these items for an elderly relative and have seen no suggestion that this is the case.

By the way, Life Alert advertises that its batteries last ten years and do not need recharging, and I have again seen no suggestion that its representation is inaccurate.

I agree with this. The battery never needs recharging. Plus, you check in with the service monthly, to verify it is working properly.

The necklace does accidentally come off sometimes, though. My Dad wore one, and a few times while he was sleeping the fastener came loose, and he managed to press the button by rolling on it. We then super glued it together, and he never lost it again.

He used it in an emergency a few times, too. It's a lifesaver, and well worth the money, in my opinion. He has since passed on.

RIP, Daddy.

Last edited by Dolores Reborn; 04-30-2018 at 11:25 AM.
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Old 04-30-2018, 12:38 PM
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literally the week she retired (early) she started her bath & then had a stroke.
Death always wins in the end.
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Old 04-30-2018, 12:55 PM
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I forget where I read this - it was an article somewhere, so may be distorted. But it said that in Japan you can buy a rice cooker that can be programmed to send an email notice whenever it's used. You give it to your elderly relative, programmed with your email, and get an email once or twice a day. If the email doesn't come, you check in directly, or indirectly through a neighbor or whatever your Plan B is.

Most Americans don't use a rice cooker every day, but I'm sure the basic idea could be adapted to a coffee maker.
I'm going to go with toilet flushing. That would be fairly universal in the US. Anyone interested in developing this, be my guest! I look forward to seeing you on Shark Tank.
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Old 04-30-2018, 12:59 PM
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I'm going to go with toilet flushing. That would be fairly universal in the US. Anyone interested in developing this, be my guest! I look forward to seeing you on Shark Tank.
Does it lock out for a certain time period? Not many people want to know every time Mom or Dad flushes.

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Old 04-30-2018, 01:12 PM
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Does it lock out for a certain time period? Not many people want to know every time Mom or Dad flushes.

Nah, more like if the toilet doesn't flush at least once in a 24 hour period (or time frame you choose!) the email/text gets sent.
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Old 04-30-2018, 01:30 PM
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I'd buy that, Icarus.
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Old 04-30-2018, 02:15 PM
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One former employer told us that if we ever didn't show up for work (without telling anyone) they would call us, and if we didn't answer the phone they would send the police to our house. Some people bristled at that a little, but I found it sort of comforting in a "someone might find me before I start decomposing! yay!" way.

I'm only 46, but am likely to keep living alone. When I wonder about what would happen if I were to seriously injure myself at home, my mind tends to go directly to "what about the dog??" I worry about her way more than myself. After reading most of this thread I was thinking that Alexa/Google could be the answer, but then I read this:

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Interesting idea. But with my luck, I'd be hurt on the floor, calling out Alexa to call 911, while Alexa keeps saying things like "Do you want me to rent the movie Ninowan?" Or: "Sorry, but you will have to enter your Apple ID password first". I'd be dying AND annoyed to death.
So true!! LOL!
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Old 04-30-2018, 03:12 PM
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Not many people want to know every time Mom or Dad flushes.
"Wait a minute -- Dad's flushing in Morse Code! S-O-S-O-U-T-O-F-T-O-I-L-E-T-P-A-P-E-R"
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Old 04-30-2018, 03:42 PM
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I'm going to go with toilet flushing. That would be fairly universal in the US. Anyone interested in developing this, be my guest! I look forward to seeing you on Shark Tank.
That's disgusting, and brilliant. Kudos.
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Old 04-30-2018, 04:33 PM
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I tell you what, this is beginning to really worry me. I am so accident prone. I live far away from any where. Cell service is spotty. We have upgraded our wi-fi recently. I would have to be with my tablet or desktop. My phone tends to float around the house. It could be any where in the house or car or lost ( happens regular-like). I think I am gonna get an apple watch or something, soon.
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Old 04-30-2018, 04:49 PM
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Are there that many elderly that don't have email anymore?
If you have Parkinson's disease, are a stroke patient, someone with arthritic hands, vision problems, etc. using a computer can be extremely difficult or even impossible.
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Old 04-30-2018, 05:25 PM
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I tell you what, this is beginning to really worry me. I am so accident prone. I live far away from any where. Cell service is spotty. We have upgraded our wi-fi recently. I would have to be with my tablet or desktop. My phone tends to float around the house. It could be any where in the house or car or lost ( happens regular-like). I think I am gonna get an apple watch or something, soon.
This thread made me buy a landline with three DECT handsets, one on each floor.

And it's convinced my friend to start a daily "are you okay"-phone ritual with his mom. Both to her benefit AND his own. Yes, he gives up a little privacy, and it is a bit cumbersome. But he sees a lot of benefits, too. Let's just hope he and his mom don't fall ill on the very same day.

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Old 04-30-2018, 07:01 PM
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I'm going to go with toilet flushing. That would be fairly universal in the US. Anyone interested in developing this, be my guest! I look forward to seeing you on Shark Tank.
Hmmm. Would this work? Depends.

If you open a Kickstarter, let me know.
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Old 04-30-2018, 10:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Maastricht View Post
As a woman without convenient pockets... it's a bit cumbersome to have my phone on me or in my hands when I'm puttering about the house.
For God's sake! After reading this thread, at least get some pockets! Or an alert device.

And everyone, keep your phone within reach. I switched to an iPhone SE (same size as the old 5/5S/5c) so it'll fit in my pocket. I'm almost to the point where it's not annoying, and I'm working on it becoming an automatic habit. And I upgraded to iOS 11, so I can call 911 with 5 taps to the power button.

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Originally Posted by Robot Arm View Post
I fell and hit my head. Didn't think it was that bad, but when I woke up in the morning I was so dizzy that it was all I could do to get out of bed and crawl to the bathroom. My phone was downstairs, so that wasn't gonna happen...
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Originally Posted by Beckdawrek View Post
My phone tends to float around the house. It could be any where in the house or car or lost ( happens regular-like)...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Baker View Post
I live alone and I have no plan... It figures, dying alone and in pain.
Everyone who feels this way, you are choosing a tragic/painful/senseless fate. Please, choose to give yourself a fighting chance if something happens. This is no time to be stubborn or fatalistic.

Make a plan, talk to friends and family (or the retired guys at your local diner...), and carry an alert device or your phone at all times.
  #41  
Old 04-30-2018, 11:06 PM
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I am working on it, I promise. I realize I am in a special situation living pretty much off the grid. We had a discussion tonight about doing something about spotty cell phone service. We did finally get on the 911 map last year. So if I can get them on the phone they will be able to find me. My worry now is what if I am totally knocked out or in a coma.
There's no way to control everything, maybe I can diminish the danger though.
  #42  
Old 04-30-2018, 11:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Icarus View Post
I'm going to go with toilet flushing.
A better idea would be using the kitchen sink. Equally effective, and less squicky.

There are plenty of electronic faucets already in use (usually in public restrooms). How hard could it be to hook up a connection to the internet-of-things?

Or how about the light switch in the bedroom?

Anything not used for 24 hours would send an alert.

Last edited by chappachula; 04-30-2018 at 11:24 PM.
  #43  
Old 05-01-2018, 02:26 PM
Mama Zappa is offline
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I read that postal workers will sometimes notify authorities when a resident mail is not being picked up. I can't find an official site that describes this, but tip number six here mentioned it.

Aha - did some more Googling and found it: it's called the Carrier Alert program.

Obviously, if you've collapsed on the floor, any help from that program might not arrive in time. But at least in theory your absence should be spotted within a couple of days.

My husband's grandmother lived alone when she was hit by a sudden severe devastating stroke. Thank heaven she was just barely able to get to the phone and call 911, or it would've been several days before she was found.

Last edited by Mama Zappa; 05-01-2018 at 02:27 PM.
  #44  
Old 05-01-2018, 03:11 PM
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This has been a thought-provoking thread. Thanks to all who pitched in, or will.
  #45  
Old 05-01-2018, 03:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mama Zappa View Post
I read that postal workers will sometimes notify authorities when a resident mail is not being picked up. I can't find an official site that describes this, but tip number six here mentioned it.

Aha - did some more Googling and found it: it's called the Carrier Alert program.

Obviously, if you've collapsed on the floor, any help from that program might not arrive in time. But at least in theory your absence should be spotted within a couple of days.

My husband's grandmother lived alone when she was hit by a sudden severe devastating stroke. Thank heaven she was just barely able to get to the phone and call 911, or it would've been several days before she was found.
Rural carrier route at the farm. Back in the day, call it 1994, I was javing a bad time with pneumonia and several times my carrier came to the door because I wasn't visible in the living room or desk area windows at a time I normally would be.
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  #46  
Old 05-01-2018, 03:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Misnomer View Post
I'm only 46, but am likely to keep living alone. When I wonder about what would happen if I were to seriously injure myself at home, my mind tends to go directly to "what about the dog??" I worry about her way more than myself.
A few years ago, when poster Khadaji died of the flu, his dog died also before he was found. I thought about that a lot.
  #47  
Old 05-01-2018, 04:58 PM
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Originally Posted by digs View Post
Everyone who feels this way, you are choosing a tragic/painful/senseless fate. Please, choose to give yourself a fighting chance if something happens. This is no time to be stubborn or fatalistic.
It just wasn't something that was on my radar. I was about 40 during the incident I described, and after some rest I was fine. It still seems like a fluke. I'm barely 50 now, and in general, my health has been excellent.

On the other hand, I saw a William Holden movie last night and was reading a bit about him today. Slipped on a rug, hit his head on a table, and bled to death. He was only 63 at the time, but was a very heavy drinker and intoxicated at the time. There were signs that he was conscious. Don't know if he couldn't, or just chose not to call for help.
  #48  
Old 05-01-2018, 05:17 PM
Maastricht is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by digs View Post
...get some pockets! ...everyone, keep your phone within reach. I switched to an iPhone SE (same size as the old 5/5S/5c) so it'll fit in my pocket. I'm almost to the point where it's not annoying, and I'm working on it becoming an automatic habit. ...make a plan ..carry an alert device or your phone at all times.
You know, women's clothing REALLY has no pockets. And it is convenient to leave your phone in another room, either in the charger or the internet radio player. It is also anooying to have your phone on you at all times, unless you silence the sound of all those alerts. (And then, obviously, forget to put the sound back on, causing other problems.Does anyone know of a way to silence a phone for a set period of time ( other then the night?)

But anyway, I was thinking of ways to make it an easier habit to carry the phone on me. Like many women, I often carry my phone in my bra. It looks stupid, and falls out when I bend over to pick something up, but hey, easy to get out and in.

I just got word from the people at Etsy that they don't want to make my custom easier version of this arm cuff phone carrier. Please, someone good with leather make these and become rich selling them ( Broomstick?) Purses like these are no good: whever I move, they fall to the front and are in the way.

But it's hard to make a habit of carrying a phone at home. I often like to wear an apron when I'm pottering about the house, and the phone goes in my apron pocket. An apron has the added benefit of protecting my clothes and it's comfortable and doesn't make me look fat of nerdy. It makes me look like I'm at home, at ease, baking something, which is a look I like to have
Anyone know of other really handy pouches or something like that are a pleasure to wear in any weather? For men, there't the phone belt clip pouch.

Last edited by Maastricht; 05-01-2018 at 05:21 PM.
  #49  
Old 05-01-2018, 05:41 PM
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I worry about my mom, who is 80 and lives alone. I've talked with her about wearing a device, but she tried that for a while, and it irritated her skin -- which is very fragile. She points out that she has a phone in every room, but I'd like some sort of failsafe. I love the idea of a toilet that emails the kids if you don't use it for 24 hours. But I don't think that's for sale, and besides, she likes her toilet and doesn't want a new one.

She is computer literate, but I don't think she wants the bother an having to write an email every day. (something she suggested, but hasn't implemented.)

Maybe I should research the Nest, or other IOT devices.
  #50  
Old 05-01-2018, 06:15 PM
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One thing to think about is how quickly you need the system to notice something is wrong.

If your goal is to avoid having people discover a really smelly corpse, then a day or two is fine. If you want to get help to potentially survive a condition, then it potentially has to be much sooner.

For that reason, you probably want a passive system, rather than one where you have to take specific actions. A once-a-day phone call is fine, but no one wants hourly checkins.

The toilet flush sensor is a good idea. That likely reduces the unknown time down to a couple hours, and most people use the toilet first thing in the morning and last thing at night as well. You could make something with a float that sat in the tank and talked over wifi, so you wouldn't need a new toilet.

Lots of places are adding "smart" electric meters. I bet it wouldn't be hard to scrape the data to figure out if someone is doing stuff. There's a drop at night when all the lights turn out, and a spike in the morning when they first come on. You do have to deal with noise like refrigerator compressor cycling, but I bet you could tease enough signal out of the rest as long as you don't have electric heat.
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