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R U There?

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Do any of you have a relative, friend who lives alone and isn’t in touch with others daily?  Or maybe you are in that type situation yourself.

A friend was telling me that she worries about her aunt who, although not really isolated, isn’t in touch with people sometimes for days at a time.  The concern is that aunt could have a medical emergency and no one would know until too late.  (I know of a case where this happened with tragic results.)

Friend was telling me about something called “R U There?”, and there are similar services (I think one is called Telecare).  You sign up (usually a small monthly fee) and you get a phone call at a designated time every day (or evening) just checking to see if you are okay.  If you don’t answer after several tries, they call someone on your "in case of emergency” list (relative, neighbor) to check on you.  OTOH, if the subscriber is going to be out/busy at the designated check in time, they can call and check in beforehand.

Anyone ever heard of this, or know anyone who has such a service?

Outdoor Girl:
I think it is a great idea, but I haven't seen the service.

We have a somewhat informal arrangement for my Dad.  My brother and I call regularly but he has fantastic next door neighbours who keep an eye on him.  The Mom used to be a SAHM and she would watch to see if she saw Dad's car go by during the day.  If she didn't, she'd take the dog for a walk and pop in.  The kids are teenagers now and the son helps my Dad out quite a bit.  It certainly puts our minds at ease to know they are there for him.

I want to hear more about this!

Our 80 year old cousins lived in a retirement building - small apartments, meals in the dining room, nurses on call, housekeeping if needed. (Cost a fortune! Don't think we'll ever be able to afford that!)

They put up a flag every morning. Then someone would walk by every apartment to see if the signal was up. If not, help was called.

I would love that kind of service for me to live in my home, if I am alone, or Lucas is alone. I want to hear more about it. It sounds a lot like necklace-bracelet thing my dad had, only actually cheaper and more convenient.

I wouldn't mind doing that as a volunteer as long as I am able!

The necklace/bracelet thing is only good if the person can reach the button.  In the case of heart attack, stroke, seizure, etc. they can't.

I'm going to do some research.  Quite awhile ago I saw an ad or something for a check-in service that cost in the range of $25/month.  (Friend says she will get it as a gift for her aunt if she can find such a service at a reasonable price.)  Also wondering is there is a trial period, contract, etc.

Seems a little bit "Big Brother" to me.  I think employing this type of service would rely entirely on the circumstances.  The introverted family member probably really doesn't need their every step and plan monitored.  I would not log onto a website or call some 1-800 service with my plans and I would be really annoyed if I had to answer the phone or log into a website every day just so I can go about living my daily life, and gawd forbid I went out of town for two days and now the sky is falling because I didn't pre-arrange this with 1-800-BIG-BROTHER.

On the other hand, if my personal circumstances put me in a position where I might not be able to get to a phone, or if my aging parents might not be able to get to a phone, an emergency alert type of program would be very useful, especially since I'm out of town from them and cannot drive by and check on them myself.  I think more useful is to wear a remote device to alert emergency services.  I have a house alarm with a remote control and a panic button I can use and keep this close to me at all times.  A medic alert device would useful as well if I needed it.  If the aunt is aging and could use such a service, I would pay for this, but I would not expect her to log into a website or call 1-800.

Are there no friends or family in the area to check up on her?


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