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Another thing to consider is a medical alert device- these devices can be installed in the home simply using VOIP phone services. A base unit would communicate with a small button worn around the senior's neck; this button can be pressed in the event of an emergency to contact emergency services, a nursing home front desk (if in assisted living), and/or a loved one/caregiver. The knowledge that help is available to your loved one 24/7 is one way to feel better about the aging parent and their safety when they are alone.
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Thank you for sharing your stories. I believe most people deal with the situations presented here at some point in their lives. Worrying about our parents’ safety will never leave our thoughts. However, I agree with Jill that nowadays’ technology translated into products or services greatly helps our parents stay safer at home. I think it also supports us doing our best in being there for them, just like Terry said. Among useful devices like the one that turns off a stove that's been left unattended, our parents can also benefit from a free national servicelike Smart911. It is available to citizens across the country and enables them to create a Safety Profile, in which they include emergency contacts – like their children or caregiver -, special health conditions, or medications and even pictures of themselves. This crucial information is immediately available to 9-1-1 dispatchers when an emergency call is made and valuable minutes and seconds can be saved while sending the appropriate help faster.
If your parent suffers from a health condition like dementia, in the case of Nancy’s mother-in-law or Terry’s mother, this information is helpful for 9-1-1 call takers as they interact with the caller.
The Smart911 service is 100% private & secure and is being implemented by local 9-1-1 centers across the U.S. You can view a video on the service at for more info.

Best,
Ev
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nancyh-i do not have caller id, but when the phone rings early morn or late nite, my stomach does a flip! my MIL lives in a cottage 20 feet away(builder suggessted a detached unit in case she accidentally caused a fire-it would not burn us down also!) My mom live 1 mile away in AL. We had to force my mom to move when we realize she has dementia and was not safe at home. she was really mad, but you just smile and forge forward(3 yrs ago). My mil could not live by herself and needed care(7 yrs ago). ocasionally we hear from both of them what a horrible thing we did, but we just smile and agree and go on with life knowing we did our best.
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my mum refuses any help and gets really angry with me if I mention it.
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My mom lived in her regular apartment for about a year after my dad died. She suddenly decided she wanted to move into a senior apartment. I thought this was way premature as she was fully active at the time. I assumed part of it was all the rather rowdy younger people that had moved into her building making her uncomfortable. Moving into the senior apartments probably saved her life. She had a major stroke in the laundry room and one of the residents found her soon after and called 9-11. The laundry in her regular apartment was in the unit. Nobody would have known and I only checked on her about once a week as she was fine and in very good health before this happened.
Having some extra oversight isn't a bad thing. She has friends who call her daily and the apartment has a door sign system and resident managers who check on everyone daily.
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I think my father is suffering with age problems, but my mum and some of my family are happy to ignore it. I have been on the recieving end of an episode, but because i sought advice, i am now being accused of lieing, and people have put lies and gossip on facebook, some of these people have also seen what my father is capable of. What can be done, all i can do is ride it out.
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I've noticed my dad, who lives alone since my mom died last year, is much more wobbly then he used to be. He is aware of it, and really tries to be careful. My mother-in-law who also lived alone for a year after her husband died, kept tripping on her clunky shoes and falling. She'd trip and fall, and if she didn't break anything (like she eventually did to her hip) but she wouldn't remember falling because of the dementia. Instead she might complain that her head hurt. So I'd start looking at her thru her hair, and sure enough there would be dried blood where she had banged her head on something and forgotten. She's in asst. living now. Between my dad and my husband's mom, I hold my breath whenever I see caller ID and it's them. ha
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