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My only hope is when I die....
Old 07-05-2009, 11:43 AM   #1
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My only hope is when I die....

is that someone finds me before I lay there for five years. What a sad story, but one that I think we may hear more often in the future as we become more automated. Direct deposit and direct bill paying, no family, outliving friends--I can see how it could happen.

Rest in peace Isabella

Woman, 85, lay dead in her flat for five years before anyone noticed she was missing | Mail Online
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Old 07-05-2009, 01:52 PM   #2
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....
Rest in peace Isabella
....
It surely sounds as if she has been resting undisturbed for five years.

HM, you give those of us who love the idea of independence an opening here, on this 5th of July.

Hereís a newspaper comment on the article, reminds me of Robert Frostís ďgood fences make good neighborsĒ:

Quote:
To be honest, she might have been the kind of person who was very independent and didn't like people poking their noses into her business. There's an upside and downside to being independent: this is the downside. Personally, I hate neighbours who take on the role of 'minder' since it so easily gets out of hand and ends up almost like stalking. Good neighbours know when to stop but many don't.
- Barbara, London, 03/7/2009 18:41
Iím a little amazed at the logistics of this, a lady in her mid-í80s went all online for finances! Complete automation still eludes me, I cannot do it at all for my rent. My apt. bldg. is yet again on the market, even if I could make automatic payments, there would be new forms to fill out with a new owner.

And her mail just got slipped into her apt., my mailbox would overflow in a week and eventually the post office would do something about it(?) Iíve seem mail bundled up and dropped in the lobby; everyone in the bldg. knew that the box holder was working overseas or had moved.

Some of us might say, that way of dying is just fine, the horror of it comes to those left behind to pick up the pieces. There is a statistic in the city where I live that that is how it goes, many people live alone and die alone. Much preferable to spending oneís last days in a nursing home, surrounded by people who want you to participate in group activities, and/or surrounded by those who think it their duty to be at your side?
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Old 07-05-2009, 02:33 PM   #3
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I pity the officers that found her.
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Old 07-05-2009, 03:44 PM   #4
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Iím a little amazed at the logistics of this, a lady in her mid-í80s went all online for finances! Complete automation still eludes me, I cannot do it at all for my rent. My apt. bldg. is yet again on the market, even if I could make automatic payments, there would be new forms to fill out with a new owner.

And her mail just got slipped into her apt., my mailbox would overflow in a week and eventually the post office would do something about it(?) Iíve seem mail bundled up and dropped in the lobby; everyone in the bldg. knew that the box holder was working overseas or had moved.
The mail is not surprising since most houses/apartments in the UK have mailboxes in the front doors that simply empty onto the floor.

I was surprised at everything being on auto for finances. I have everything I can on auto but each year things change including my rent requiring me to change the bank payments.

Very sad to think that she had so little interaction with the outside world that she could simply die in her flat and lie there for 5 years.
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Old 07-05-2009, 04:34 PM   #5
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....
I was surprised at everything being on auto for finances. I have everything I can on auto but each year things change including my rent requiring me to change the bank payments.

....
Seems like the online folks could develop ways to make sure that the payor is still there; knows the user ID, password and still has a valid e-mail address. I think my e-mail addresses go away if they are unused for three months. But where is their incentive if the money keeps on rolling in?
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Old 07-05-2009, 05:43 PM   #6
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Seems like the online folks could develop ways to make sure that the payor is still there; knows the user ID, password and still has a valid e-mail address. I think my e-mail addresses go away if they are unused for three months. But where is their incentive if the money keeps on rolling in?
Talking about this with DW we can see how this can happen with the payments since they will all have been done through her bank. We have a couple of autopayments now through our bank in England and when we lived there our mortgage was also automated - even though this was pre-internet so we never had an e-mail address. As the amounts changed all we received was a letter stating the new payment, so if you did nothing the bank just paid the new amount.

In the case in question the UK government has been paying a pension to a dead person for 5 years. I've read of such fraud where a relative keeps up a pretense of the recipient being still alive, but in this case her pension just kept on rolling in with no checks at all to see if she was still alive. Payers don't care as long as they keep getting paid, but you would think that payees would be more careful. When we lived in the UK it was very unusual to file a tax return - every year we would receive a statement showing income and allowances and taxes paid - if there was a small underpayment you'd get your taxes adjusted so you would pay more over the following year, ditto if you paid too much (or you could request a check ). So, again, lack of tax returns would not alert the authorities to a person dying.

edited to add: In the UK all taxes are paid at source including interest, dividends etc.
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Old 07-05-2009, 07:45 PM   #7
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Iím a little amazed at the logistics of this, a lady in her mid-í80s went all online for finances!
And her mail just got slipped into her apt., my mailbox would overflow in a week and eventually the post office would do something about it(?) Iíve seem mail bundled up and dropped in the lobby; everyone in the bldg. knew that the box holder was working overseas or had moved.
Where's the guy who started the thread about putting his finances & investments on autopilot in case he died and his spouse had to take over? This woman developed it into an art form!

We have our weekly mail down to a free newspaper and a few junk pieces. If we had a doorway mail slot instead of a mailbox then it could be years before we had to do anything about it. It sounds like the new mail was just sliding down the side of the pile formed by the old mail. I'm going to have to reconsider our mail delivery...

It's interesting that the building's reputed "landlord" didn't make an apartment visit (or have paperwork requiring her acknowledgment) even once in five years. And doesn't Social Security eventually send confirmation correspondence to the older beneficiaries? You'd think that Great Britain would have a similar system. I'd love to be left alone by my life's authority figures for that long.

I guess five years can happen a lot easier than might be expected. In retrospect, my father and I figure that my grandfather became functionally senile about four years before anything "had" to be done about it. During that time he had stopped paying all paper bills, but the utility companies just put him on 1.5% interest per month and let the balance keep climbing. He ate at the local Friendly's three times a day, the same three meals each day, for nearly four years. (But he was a big tipper and very popular with the wait staff.) He collected the mail every day and put it in a room-- any room. He didn't file any state/federal tax returns or write any checks during that time. Didn't deposit any checks, either. Despite having a short-term memory of only seconds, he drove flawlessly. People saw him every day and never had any reason to worry about him during their seconds of contact.

His pension & SS were direct-deposited into his account and his rent was auto-deducted. It wasn't until the bank glitched and his rent didn't get paid that someone actually had a conversation with him and realized what was happening.
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Old 07-06-2009, 08:53 AM   #8
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I pity the officers that found her.
Actually, it probably wasn't that bad. The ones that are really nasty are the ones left in a car trunk for a week in August. Don't ask how I know that....
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Old 07-06-2009, 10:16 AM   #9
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Actually, it probably wasn't that bad. The ones that are really nasty are the ones left in a car trunk for a week in August. Don't ask how I know that....


How about a warm lake for a couple months in the summer?
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Old 07-06-2009, 10:18 AM   #10
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How about a warm lake for a couple months in the summer?
At least the water washes away some of the unbearable stench and distributes it over a wide area.
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Old 07-06-2009, 10:30 AM   #11
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Glad you guys are thinking of something tasteful and intellectually challenging to discuss this morning. (Just kiddin! )
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Old 07-06-2009, 10:39 AM   #12
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That is sad. Could happen to me after my Mother is gone. Hopefully not that long but a couple of weeks is possible. My brother is gone and I don't speak to other family members everyday as they live in other towns. My golf group would think I decided to go out of town if I didn't show. I got a couple of close buddies so hopefully they would check on me if I didn't answer my phone. Maybe I will install a live cam in my house so my forum friends can click on to make sure I'm still kicking.

BTW, I never have understood why some people actually do that and broadcast their lives over the net. And I'm not talking about the nude stuff. Just people walking around in their house. What's up with that?
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Old 07-06-2009, 10:45 AM   #13
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Maybe I will install a live cam in my house so my forum friends can click on to make sure I'm still kicking.
Hot Dawg!
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BTW, I never have understood why some people actually do that and broadcast their lives over the net. And I'm not talking about the nude stuff. Just people walking around in their house. What's up with that?
They wanna show, people wanna look...I reckon.
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Old 07-06-2009, 11:03 AM   #14
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....

BTW, I never have understood why some people actually do that and broadcast their lives over the net. And I'm not talking about the nude stuff. Just people walking around in their house. What's up with that?
To prove they exit? mn, see Beckett, "Waiting For Godot."
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Old 07-06-2009, 11:06 AM   #15
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I dont think the lady minded too much.
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Old 07-06-2009, 11:59 AM   #16
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is that someone finds me before I lay there for five years. What a sad story, but one that I think we may hear more often in the future as we become more automated. Direct deposit and direct bill paying, no family, outliving friends--I can see how it could happen.

Rest in peace Isabella

Woman, 85, lay dead in her flat for five years before anyone noticed she was missing | Mail Online
How sad that nobody "missed" her in the neighborhood. 5 years no less!
I don't live alone, but I've been known to hole up once in a while just to do my own thing and switch off the world. I've had friends call or email and ask me what planet I'm living on these days.
I do have a very good guy friend who checks up on me periodically, and vice versa. I think it's a good idea for everyone to have friends like that, whether they live alone or not.
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Old 07-06-2009, 01:37 PM   #17
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I do have a very good guy friend who checks up on me periodically, and vice versa. I think it's a good idea for everyone to have friends like that, whether they live alone or not.
What does he "check" on?
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Old 07-06-2009, 01:55 PM   #18
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What does he "check" on?
Pffffffftttttttttttt! (audio - Bronx cheer)
He checks to make sure I'm OK. He is like a brother, which makes me a "little sister".
Video FYE (for your entertainment)
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Old 07-06-2009, 02:00 PM   #19
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Pffffffftttttttttttt! (audio - Bronx cheer)
He checks to make sure I'm OK. He is like a brother, which makes me a "little sister".
Video FYE (for your entertainment)
Sorry.....this thread was getting too morbid, it was my lame attempt to "lighten" it up..........never doing that again!
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Old 07-06-2009, 02:02 PM   #20
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Maybe I will install a live cam in my house so my forum friends can click on to make sure I'm still kicking.
I'm sure there would be a few volunteers to "monitor" you.........
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