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single people - how long would it take someone to notice you missing?
Old 04-02-2021, 03:17 AM   #1
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single people - how long would it take someone to notice you missing?

My neighbor noticed another neighbor (60) had not been seen lately and called police for a welfare check. Needless to say it didn't end well. She had no family.

But it got me thinking - how long would it be before anyone missed me? Who would take care of the pets so there was no suffering?

I must have cut class the day this was covered in Adulting 101.
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Old 04-02-2021, 04:04 AM   #2
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I’m not single, but I suspect once there is no clean underwear to be found, someone might notice.

Sorry to hear about your neighbor.
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Old 04-02-2021, 04:13 AM   #3
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I’m single and I think it’d take 1-2 days. I’m in frequent contact with family and if I didn’t reply to calls or text messages promptly, they’d start to worry. It has happened before.
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Old 04-02-2021, 04:25 AM   #4
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This concern is the main reason our son moved back to England. In 2013 we were on our travels and happened to be staying with my sister when he called to tell us about a co-worker he knew very well, worked night shifts with him. The co-worker was in his 60s, a very private and quiet individual with no known family. He was also a cancer patient and only working until he could get to Medicare age to retire with health benefits he could afford.

They worked 3 x 13 hour shifts, Friday, Saturday and Sunday and one Friday night he didn't show up and didn't call in sick. No one on shift knew where he lived or had his phone number so they informed their manager of his absence and when HR came into work on the Monday they discovered that they didn't even have his correct address as he had bought a new house and moved fairly recently. HR informed the police and working with them discovered where he lived. The police had to break in and they found him dead. Our son was visibly upset when I was talking with him and he said that he could see himself in that situation at that age because outside of work he had no friends and didn't know any of his apartment neighbors.

A year after we moved to England he also moved back and his life is totally different. He bought a house and not only lives close to us but also to my sister and her husband and daughter who he is very close with, plus he gets on absolutely great with his neighbors, knows them, speaks regularly with them plus they have held a street party in 2018 and 2019. (It's a cul-de-sac so no traffic to speak of). He also now works days, Monday to Friday, gets on really well with his co-workers, and one of them lives very close to him. In non-Covid times they will probably car-pool to work.
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Old 04-02-2021, 05:20 AM   #5
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Make friends that you keep regular contact with so they know something is up when the normal pattern breaks.

Also make sure there's some young friends in your mix so they don't go before you.. I am single but all my friends are older than me. I need to change that.
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Old 04-02-2021, 05:49 AM   #6
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I pondered on this last year, and wrote out my thought processes on what might happen to me, as I aged, but I can't find the original post now. But anyway, as I get older, and more isolated, I could imagine a situation where I might die in the house, and it could be awhile before someone found me. I don't really keep in touch with the younger generations of my family, or even my contemporaries. And the older generations are dying out. Once I'm retired, those people will be but a distant memory. And I live in a rural area where the neighbors pretty much keep to themselves.

My guess is that eventually there would be some kind of tip-off, like the mail piling up, some bill not getting paid, or the neighbors becoming concerned if the grass grew too tall and unruly. So, it could conceivably be awhile before someone discovered me.

But, that's sometime, off in the distant future, hopefully. Now, if I was to drop dead right now as I type this, that would be a different sto-
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Old 04-02-2021, 05:58 AM   #7
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It took about 3 days for my across the street neighbor.

We neighbors would all keep an eye on her, and her brother checked every few days. Unfortunately, when she passed, it was right after a few of us checked.

I always looked for the TV to change status from on to off, back to on. I also would trim her grass and peek inside for activity.

Here's the thing, she was the most private person I've ever met. She didn't want us knocking on her door every day. She also tried to keep her independence and not ask for help. It took heaven and earth for me and another neighbor to convince her to let us cut and trim her lawn.

I was busy the day she passed and wasn't paying attention. I feel bad about this. Her brother found her on his check after she didn't answer the phone. He told us this was typical, but he had a bad feeling this time. (She had health issue.)

In chatting with her brother, he told us to not feel guilty. He said she was so private that he had a hard time connecting with her too.

I guess in the end, it is about how many friends you have that you let into your life. She literally had none, and preferred it that way. So it took some time.
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Old 04-02-2021, 06:14 AM   #8
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This topic came up at an interesting time. I was on a walk a few days ago and stopped to talk a guy I know that was out in his yard. Another neighbor came over and asked if he seen the single male neighbor that lives kiddy corner from them. He is a sickly man in his late 60's and is very well to do. He lives like a hermit and may stay hidden for months on end. I know him well, but he isn't one to be bothered and like his solitude. They said we will leave late night to get grub etc. and that why they were concerned because they haven't seen that in a week now.

They actually were going to call for the law to stop by to make sure he was alright.
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Old 04-02-2021, 06:16 AM   #9
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I've got friends but we don't stay in touch everyday. And if someone did notice I wasn't around they would probably think I was at my vacation condo. But I do have one good neighbor/friend that would probably check on me if my grass was getting tall as I always maintain my yard and I respond when he texts me. He also has a key to my house. I could easily go a week or two before being found. But if I live long enough....I'll probably end up in a retirement complex and none of this will be a problem as they always check on you if you don't show for meals in the dining room. At least that's the way it works at the ones around here.
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Old 04-02-2021, 06:26 AM   #10
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One of my friends started a singles check in group a year ago. There are 5 of us, and I am the youngest. We check in every other day via email, and if you don't respond, whoever is the leader that month has to make sure you are okay.

It was put in place due to Covid, but we are thinking about keeping it going afterwards.
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Old 04-02-2021, 06:34 AM   #11
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^ a great idea. In small towns it seems like more contact is made between people and people pay attention to those details. People really do watch out for each other and care or have a connection of some sort living in a small community.
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Old 04-02-2021, 06:50 AM   #12
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My mother would get worried after a few days. If she's no longer around it would easily be a week or 2 before anyone else got concerned.
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Old 04-02-2021, 06:59 AM   #13
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This is something that concerns me. It might be a couple of weeks for anyone to notice. If I didn't show for some of my regularly scheduled volunteer assignments that might be the red flag. Where I lived previously the sheriff's department had a program that people age 60+ could sign up to receive a call I think once a week. If after a couple of attempts there is no response then someone would be sent out. I wish there was something like that in my new location.
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Old 04-02-2021, 07:04 AM   #14
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If I were to live single I would probably setup a network and be more social. Since I'm married, DH would notice pretty quickly, but my whole life might be organized differently if I weren't.

Also things like keeping a phone nearby, alerts, other communication tools, I'd look into those "what if I were lying injured on the floor - what next" and have a plan for that before it happens.

Still, sure, one day, worst case, the cat might eat my face off before anyone barged in.
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Old 04-02-2021, 07:11 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pjm-7 View Post
This is something that concerns me. It might be a couple of weeks for anyone to notice. If I didn't show for some of my regularly scheduled volunteer assignments that might be the red flag. Where I lived previously the sheriff's department had a program that people age 60+ could sign up to receive a call I think once a week. If after a couple of attempts there is no response then someone would be sent out. I wish there was something like that in my new location.
There are services that do that. Here is one:
Daily Phone Call for Seniors

A bit of googling will find many more.
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Old 04-02-2021, 07:24 AM   #16
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Widowed, but I play cards with a group twice a week so they would look for me if I didn't show up.
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Old 04-02-2021, 08:40 AM   #17
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Since the heart attack I figure about 48 hours. Maybe 72 at the outside. The neighbor looks for my porch light going on/off and every few days shoots me a text message. Before the heart attack.... eh, maybe a week or two. Two weeks in a row of no trash set out would get attention. In the summer I mowed the lawn twice a week unless there was a drought so a shaggy lawn would also be a tip off. Un-shoveled snow in the winter would also be a sooner-rather-than-later heads-up.
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Old 04-02-2021, 10:07 AM   #18
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In pre covid times I think somoene would have noticed me quicker but I go so few places now. . . even I don't think it is so odd anymore now that I am used to it.
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Old 04-02-2021, 10:33 AM   #19
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There was a guy that worked in the overnight security dept in the company I worked for. He lived alone and never missed a day of work. One evening he did not show up for work or even call in for his shift. After his manager unsuccessfully could not get in contact with his staff member he drove the route that his staff member would have taken to work. The manager drove the route and found a car that drove off the road into the grass area at night. The manager found his staff member slumped over and passed away.
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Old 04-02-2021, 02:18 PM   #20
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I think I've mentioned the story before that DW could not get widowed MIL on the phone for 2 days in a row. We eventually had the police break into her house - and she wasn't there. Uncharacteristically for her, she had gone out with someone.

Within a year, DW who NOW had the key to MIL's place, found MIL unresponsive on the kitchen floor in a diabetic coma. We saved her life though her quality of life was definitely on the down-hill. She ended her days in a nursing facility.

When the time comes for one of us to be "alone" we'll work with our network of friends to check in. Not likely the kids would be of help since they are so far away. YMMV
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