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check in safety apps for people living alone
Old 02-28-2018, 06:31 AM   #1
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check in safety apps for people living alone

I got to thinking what if I died unexpectedly in my home, and no one knew it for days? I work two jobs from home and do some volunteer activities with a group.

Someone would eventually notice if I did not show up for a scheduled volunteer activity, or did not check in at work for a really long time, but it would take a few days before they got worried enough to alert someone.

Now and then I have a friend or two over, but at times I go several weeks without having visitors.

So depending on when I happened to die, if no visitors were coming over for a while, it could easily be a week or maybe even several weeks before anyone thought to come check on me.

One of my greatest fears is my 2 dogs having to eat me to survive, if I were dead and no one knew for several weeks!

I doubt any of this will happen but I started looking into apps that check in on the elderly. I'm not elderly yet and in good health so unlikely to die soon, but am at home alone a lot.

Does anyone have an app they'd recommend? Wondering if there is a free one or even with small fees that are worth the cost for peace of mind? I see Kitestring is free, but only has 3 checkins per month with the free version.

I would want one where I could check in online if my cell phone died.

Some of them will alert law enforcement for a welfare check as a last resort. I do not want any false alarms - would hate for the app to alert someone just because my phone died and I was out, and I could not check in for a few hours.

I'm interested in hearing others experience using such apps, as well as recommendations.
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Old 02-28-2018, 09:33 AM   #2
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This just happened to a relative that had cut off all family and had few friends and lived out in a rural area. Apparently someone noticed they hadn't seen "A" in a while, stopped by and got no response to knocking and called the state police (I think it was actually the county health board, but they send troopers out to do welfare checks).

They found A dead in bed, and think they had died sometime in the last 2-3 weeks.

A used to own cats, so I have no idea if they still did, but that would be a terrible thing if so.

They contacted family members and didn't get anyone that cared enough to step up to call in the coroner (somehow has to be a family member?) until about 3 people in, and that person was STRONGLY encouraged to have cremation if they were to be named a responsible party... don't know much else right now, but I imagine it was pretty awful and no idea what happens next. Just terrible.



Husband and I have no family nearby, rarely have anyone over (we hang out with friends at venues, not our house) and we do have cats. I've worried about this situation myself, and knowing a relative just died like that - I'm also interested in some way of contacting authorities within a day or two if something happens and not letting it go for weeks.
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Old 02-28-2018, 09:41 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by FrankiesGirl View Post
This just happened to a relative that had cut off all family and had few friends and lived out in a rural area. Apparently someone noticed they hadn't seen "A" in a while, stopped by and got no response to knocking and called the state police (I think it was actually the county health board, but they send troopers out to do welfare checks).

They found A dead in bed, and think they had died sometime in the last 2-3 weeks.

A used to own cats, so I have no idea if they still did, but that would be a terrible thing if so.

They contacted family members and didn't get anyone that cared enough to step up to call in the coroner (somehow has to be a family member?) until about 3 people in, and that person was STRONGLY encouraged to have cremation if they were to be named a responsible party... don't know much else right now, but I imagine it was pretty awful and no idea what happens next. Just terrible.



Husband and I have no family nearby, rarely have anyone over (we hang out with friends at venues, not our house) and we do have cats. I've worried about this situation myself, and knowing a relative just died like that - I'm also interested in some way of contacting authorities within a day or two if something happens and not letting it go for weeks.
This is my fear and even if my pets don't eat me, they'd suffer due to lack of food and water (except one who would drink from the toilet - but still would not be good).

It would also be disgusting and awful for whoever has to clean up the mess of a body that was there several weeks. I have a good amount of nearby extended family I keep in touch with at least a few times a year, but we do not always talk or communicate every week as we are all busy.

If I died right before a major holiday they'd find me right away, but if I died at one of the times we weren't talking a lot (due to being busy), it could be a few weeks.

Again I don't plan on dying soon, just want to be prepared in case.
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Old 02-28-2018, 09:55 AM   #4
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Could you ask a friend or relative to text back and forth with you every day? Maybe he or she would be in the same boat and would want you to check on them also.
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Old 02-28-2018, 10:04 AM   #5
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Thanks for starting this thread. I've wondered how long it might be if something befell me. I'm guessing weeks or months. Don't even have a pet that might snack on me.

On a separate, but somewhat related note, (the details are a bit sketchy as this just happened this week, and the whole story hasn't been pieced-together) a friend of a friend in Michigan stepped outside after dark the other day (dunno why -- to get mail, take out trash, something like that)...and ended up immobile (due to fall, perhaps from a stroke?) on her porch. As a result, she spent overnight out in the freezing cold. Sometime in the morning she was spotted and someone called 911. She's in hospital atm being treated for severe hypothermia...and they are trying to figure out what actually happened. I heard that she's had health issues her entire life. So this, if she manages to pulls through, might have permanently damaged her health where she will be bed-bound and need 24/7 care.

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Old 02-28-2018, 10:19 AM   #6
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Could you ask a friend or relative to text back and forth with you every day? Maybe he or she would be in the same boat and would want you to check on them also.
That's a great idea. There's probably a place for a matching service, if there isn't one already....it would be like a dating service, but you wouldn't need to know anything about your partner except their cell phone number and the number of the person to call after the agreed amount of time without a response. You agree on a check-in schedule that works for both.

There was a nursing home study that put a plant in the participant's room. Half were told it was up to them to keep it alive, the other half were told the staff would maintain it. Those with the responsibility lived longer. On that concept, I'd bet those who have a daily texting buddy responsibility would also live longer.
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Old 02-28-2018, 10:33 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by workburnout View Post
I got to thinking what if I died unexpectedly in my home, and no one knew it for days? I work two jobs from home and do some volunteer activities with a group.

Someone would eventually notice if I did not show up for a scheduled volunteer activity, or did not check in at work for a really long time, but it would take a few days before they got worried enough to alert someone.

Now and then I have a friend or two over, but at times I go several weeks without having visitors.

So depending on when I happened to die, if no visitors were coming over for a while, it could easily be a week or maybe even several weeks before anyone thought to come check on me.

One of my greatest fears is my 2 dogs having to eat me to survive, if I were dead and no one knew for several weeks!

I doubt any of this will happen but I started looking into apps that check in on the elderly. I'm not elderly yet and in good health so unlikely to die soon, but am at home alone a lot.

Does anyone have an app they'd recommend? Wondering if there is a free one or even with small fees that are worth the cost for peace of mind? I see Kitestring is free, but only has 3 checkins per month with the free version.

I would want one where I could check in online if my cell phone died.

Some of them will alert law enforcement for a welfare check as a last resort. I do not want any false alarms - would hate for the app to alert someone just because my phone died and I was out, and I could not check in for a few hours.

I'm interested in hearing others experience using such apps, as well as recommendations.
I understand your difficulty. I made a pact with my girlfriend that we will always check in each morning, no matter where we are or what we are doing, or if we are fighting or any other damn thing. Neither of us wants to stink up our building, and even more important, neither of us wants to have the other die or suffer because he or she needs help. I have a pretty close friend next door, but I am not sure how long I might go before wondering what happened to him if I didn't see him around, or he me.

Ha
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Old 02-28-2018, 10:45 AM   #8
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Could you ask a friend or relative to text back and forth with you every day? Maybe he or she would be in the same boat and would want you to check on them also.
I just discussed all this with a trusted coworker who I talk to at least once every 2-3 days, usually more often. We don't see each other as often, but at least we do talk for business on the phone.
He would definatly check if he contacted me and did not hear back.
However, he is older and may retire in a few years where we would not talk as much, or he died, never know. We would probably always keep in touch now and then but not as much unless we worked together.

So for now I'm ok, but it's still good to think about all this because there really is not anyone else I would feel comfortable calling every day to check in with.
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Old 02-28-2018, 10:47 AM   #9
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I understand your difficulty. I made a pact with my girlfriend that we will always check in each morning, no matter where we are or what we are doing, or if we are fighting or any other damn thing. Neither of us wants to stink up our building, and even more important, neither of us wants to have the other die or suffer because he or she needs help. I have a pretty close friend next door, but I am not sure how long I might go before wondering what happened to him if I didn't see him around, or he me.

Ha
Yes I totally agree.
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Old 02-28-2018, 10:53 AM   #10
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That's a great idea. There's probably a place for a matching service, if there isn't one already....it would be like a dating service, but you wouldn't need to know anything about your partner except their cell phone number and the number of the person to call after the agreed amount of time without a response. You agree on a check-in schedule that works for both.

There was a nursing home study that put a plant in the participant's room. Half were told it was up to them to keep it alive, the other half were told the staff would maintain it. Those with the responsibility lived longer. On that concept, I'd bet those who have a daily texting buddy responsibility would also live longer.
I am on the phone talking with clients daily, and we are "friends" though we often go weeks or months without talking. We get to know each other well through work - at least as good acquaintances. So it's not as if I'm isolated - I probably talk and have long conversations more than 75 percent of all people do- due to the fact I have to for work.
However, I would never ask a customer to text me every day - it would not be appropriate for a working relationship - even though we are "friends" and I'm sure some would do it. It would not be a good idea at all - reasons too long to get into here. But I do always have people to talk to - customers - some who will talk for a long time and listen if I wanted them to - so I do not feel lonely. Plus my dogs are great company.

I understand what you're saying and agree about the plant especially for people with no pets or visitors or anyone to talk to.
I do have pets and volunteer with a rescue now and then, and visit care homes for volunteer work once a month.
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Old 02-28-2018, 10:53 AM   #11
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Thanks for starting this thread. I've wondered how long it might be if something befell me. I'm guessing weeks or months. Don't even have a pet that might snack on me.

On a separate, but somewhat related note, (the details are a bit sketchy as this just happened this week, and the whole story hasn't been pieced-together) a friend of a friend in Michigan stepped outside after dark the other day (dunno why -- to get mail, take out trash, something like that)...and ended up immobile (due to fall, perhaps from a stroke?) on her porch. As a result, she spent overnight out in the freezing cold. Sometime in the morning she was spotted and someone called 911. She's in hospital atm being treated for severe hypothermia...and they are trying to figure out what actually happened. I heard that she's had health issues her entire life. So this, if she manages to pulls through, might have permanently damaged her health where she will be bed-bound and need 24/7 care.

omni
That is horrible. Hope she gets better soon.
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Old 02-28-2018, 11:02 AM   #12
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My cousin has a Life Alert necklace (the ďIíve fallen and I canít get upĒ people) that she wears while at home. She lives alone and has a history of falls. Just last month she stepped out of the shower to find fire fighters about to break through her front door. She had forgotten about the necklace, which got entangled in her PJs when she threw them on the floor for the shower. That caused the life alert people to place an emergency call. She was very embarrassed, but now knows it works.
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Old 02-28-2018, 11:08 AM   #13
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My cousin has a Life Alert necklace (the ďIíve fallen and I canít get upĒ people) that she wears while at home. She lives alone and has a history of falls. Just last month she stepped out of the shower to find fire fighters about to break through her front door. She had forgotten about the necklace, which got entangled in her PJs when she threw them on the floor for the shower. That caused the life alert people to place an emergency call. She was very embarrassed, but now knows it works.

That is OK for someone who is aware of what it is used for... but if someone is starting to show signs of dementia they do not know what it is for and will not use it...
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Old 02-28-2018, 11:10 AM   #14
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It was awhile ago, but I read about some lady in the UK who was dead about a year before someone noticed... she had her pension check auto deposited and her bills auto payed.... do not remember how she was found...
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Old 02-28-2018, 11:12 AM   #15
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My cousin has a Life Alert necklace (the ďIíve fallen and I canít get upĒ people) that she wears while at home. She lives alone and has a history of falls. Just last month she stepped out of the shower to find fire fighters about to break through her front door. She had forgotten about the necklace, which got entangled in her PJs when she threw them on the floor for the shower. That caused the life alert people to place an emergency call. She was very embarrassed, but now knows it works.
That is one of the things I was worried about - not exactly the same - but if I had it alert authorities if I lost the phone or something. However, having it alert a family member if I did not respond to the daily check in would be good. Then if needed - if I was not able to be reached - that family member would contact emergency services or get a welfare check done.

The check in system - where it only contacts family if I do not reply - I think would be better for someone like me who does not have a lot of health issues and is not elderly. That way the family member would not need to bother checking in with me each day, and I would not have to bother the family member unless it were a true emergency.

The life alert sounds great for someone who tends to fall or something else where it may be needed. Of course there is no guarantee for anyone of any age, anyone could need unexpected medical assistance, but most of us do not carry a life alert.

I have family I get along with but we do not want to contact each other every day - we like each other ok but not enough to want to be close pals. But in an emergency that was life or death, they would be there - if they knew about it through some kind of alert - email or text - that is.
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Old 02-28-2018, 11:13 AM   #16
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It was awhile ago, but I read about some lady in the UK who was dead about a year before someone noticed... she had her pension check auto deposited and her bills auto payed.... do not remember how she was found...
I heard that to, on some tv program.
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Old 02-28-2018, 11:15 AM   #17
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That is OK for someone who is aware of what it is used for... but if someone is starting to show signs of dementia they do not know what it is for and will not use it...
Yes, now if I got dementia which may well happen when I get older, I would want my niece to take over making sure someone cares for me and possibly put me in a home.

I plan to have a discussion with her about this in about 20 years - she's a teenager now.

This would not likely be needed since I'm middle aged now. But many years from now, it could.
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Old 02-28-2018, 11:46 AM   #18
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I would think with Amazon Echo & Google Home devices, family/friends/companies could send a notification that would require a response -- if the notification goes unanswered for a pre-determined period of time -- local authority would be notified.
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Old 02-28-2018, 11:49 AM   #19
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It was awhile ago, but I read about some lady in the UK who was dead about a year before someone noticed... she had her pension check auto deposited and her bills auto payed.... do not remember how she was found...
Here's the story of a Michigan woman who lay dead for 5 years..her bills on autopay...https://www.cnn.com/2014/03/07/us/mi...und/index.html

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Old 02-28-2018, 12:01 PM   #20
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Here's the story of a Michigan woman who lay dead for 5 years..her bills on autopay...https://www.cnn.com/2014/03/07/us/mi...und/index.html

omni


Wow! Iím super paranoid about having the car running when the garage door is closed. Now I know why!
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