If I Get Killed...........

mxyplxOctober 17, 2013

My wife's Alzheimers isn't getting any better to say the least.

I suddenly thunk of something tuther day: What would happen to my SW if I got killed while shopping? Or just died here at home for that matter. Presumably the cops would inform her but than what?

I've thot of several venues to persue but would like to broaden my outlook. Any suggestions would be appreciated so's I can try to put something together that would fit our situation and my temperment. For example I just could not handle a daily telecon. Email perhaps but that's iffy too. Of course the recipients would have to pay attention every day too.

I'm not sure she can make a phone call anymore tho I think she can but it's not a sure thing. And who would she call? There are several alternatives - she'd have to decide; perhaps make several calls to get thru. Then also there is finding the phone number. I'm sure she still understands the phone book. But she'd be upset which wouldn't help. Perhaps she'd not remember after the cops left. Evenually she'd realize something was rong. Maybe go to a neighbor.

She is often uncertain where the phone is unless it's ringing. And pehaps most of all her ability to verbalize is becoming very poor. If she did call it's not a given that she could put forth a coherent mssg. In fact it's improbable.

So! I'm open for some contingency plan suggestion. Any will do so's I can try to put sumpthin together. I'll talk to the neighbors as well. Also I've a friend up the block who's wife died recently (Alzheimers) but was in the same situation - I'll ask him if he had a plan and will also be consulting with other family members for their input.

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CA Kate

My husband can't do anything to help himself much less make a phone call. It was suggested, and I did, have made a Medic Alert bracelet or dog tag that:
Tells my name
I am a Family Caregiver
Phone number to call
On reverse I have said that my DH cannot be alone and why
The phone number is a friend's.

If I am out and in an accident, or whatever, the paramedics, police, etc. will see my Medic Alert bracelet and know my husband needs help.

I guess that having some sort of daily contact several times a day will be necessary just for the safety of your wife... and, perhaps to save your life.

Another phone thought: there are phones that can be programmed so that only one button needs to be pressed to get 911. Always leave the phone where it is easily visible and accessible.

Good luck !

    Bookmark   October 17, 2013 at 1:49PM
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We carry telephone listings with us of who to contact. There is no way for the police to know that there is someone you are caring for unless you have it in writing. The bracelet sounds good but I would have a problem wearing it 24/7.

You need to make arrangements for the person that you are caring for in case something does happen like who will make decisions for them, where will they live after you are gone.

My husband has Alzheimers and thinks he can still live in our house if I die but he would not be safe. I asked him which of his kids he would like to live closer to. No one has the time or space to care for him full time,

    Bookmark   October 17, 2013 at 4:01PM
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CA Kate

I've gotten use to the bracelet. Problem with something in you billfold... the rescue people won't see it. If it's a Medic Alert on your wrist or chest they will find it immediately.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2013 at 7:25PM
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I don't care for anyone but I listed my POA in my wallet. I think they always look for family to call. I have emergency sticking out of the pocket in my wallet. With the info showing through the little window.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2013 at 7:56PM
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Good stuff!

I had thot along those lines but not thoroughly. ASAP for a start I will fix up a piece of paper with pertinent info and carry it plus a copy in the P/U and boats. Next I'll refine the info and maybe make a card sealed in plastic or some such. I know if a start is made a solution will follow. I also cannot wear rings, bracelets, necklaces, etc. No wallet either - maybe a tatoo?

Whomevers phone numbas are on there will be informed of such. There actually is a network of friends and family so a call to one or another would tap into that and get the ball rolling immediately.

Making the start is the main thing on something like this - well anything really. Looks like that's what you have given me. Thank you so much.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2013 at 8:29PM
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Sounds like you have a plan and lots of good info from other posters. As I read this I was wondering do you and your wife have a living trust~~~so you can in advance set up what you want done for your wife and yourself, if something happens.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2013 at 9:24PM
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Here is one more suggestion.

How to Add ICE to Your Cell Phone

Adding ICE ("In Case of Emergency") to your phone is a clever means by which emergency personnel can locate your next of kin when something goes wrong. This simple idea was developed by a British paramedic, Bob Brotchie, who recognized the need for speed when emergency personnel are trying to locate next of kin during disaster situations.[1] Here is the simple way to keep your loved ones informed.

A link that might be useful:


    Bookmark   October 18, 2013 at 10:23AM
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More good info, thanx.

Living Turst - Well I've been meaning to do that. Soon as I get some time. :-)

Cell Phone - I believe that is one of those new fangled contrapshuns which are held to the ear with the head aimed downward and cocked to one side due to the phones' great weight, vision concentrated on the floor and the feet maintained 13 inches apart while shuffling very slowly down the middle of a supermarket aisle swaying side to side blocking other shoppers and talking loudly to save electricity.

ICE looks like a damn good idea but a cell phone is just not in my equation. The info card/sheet will have to do and for sure it's better than nothing which offers at least some stress relief which is better than none. Right? Right.

I've already started. Filled out a sticky note with these ideas. Next onto paper and then? I'll just have to get clever. :-)

    Bookmark   October 18, 2013 at 12:16PM
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The problem with a living trust is, you have to have someone you can trust to see the other heirs get their rightful share. I trust my sisters but they are older than I am. If I appointed one of my sons the other would get nothing.

This is very important. If the time ever comes when you can't care for your wife and have to put her in a home, you need to do a division of assets with the SRS. In my state if you have less than $19,000 saved you will get to keep it all and she will go right on Medicaid, same with the income, but I don't remember the amounts on that. If you have more than that say....$100,000, they figure up your assets and you will do a spend down to $50,000. and you pay for her care and you live on it to. The bottom half of the money is left for the healthy spouse. The healthy spouse will get to keep one car and the home.

This post was edited by EmmaR on Sat, Oct 19, 13 at 0:15

    Bookmark   October 18, 2013 at 5:04PM
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CA Kate

You mentioning a tattoo reminds me of a woman I met who is a severe diabetic. She had her info tattooed on her wrist along with the Medic Alert symbol. She said it worked the last time she tanked.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2013 at 8:33PM
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I know a young woman who had "do not resuscitate" tattooed on her wrist. I would never had done that at her age and in good health. What if she drowned and they did not even try to save her or a house fire and smoke inhalation. I lot of people are brought back from that.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2013 at 12:19AM
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I may be able to do the POA myself in California (I do have the medical 5 wishes thing) but the trust would sure need an attorney. There's the rub. Lawyers and financial advisors are all of the same ilk to me. If you are a pauper they won't give you the time of day and if you happen to have considerable assets they develop dollar signs for eyeballs. Either way no telling what you might get or how it will stand up.

Check references? Well just how? I'm 0 for 2 with FA's and about 50% with attorneys.

Maybe 10 years ago I started looking into a trust and the 1st outfit I tried based their fee on net assets. I told em the job was worth just so much money no more no less assets be damned and walked out. Haven't cooled off yet. :-)

Seeing these people is the pits. You sit lying half on your back in a 'comfortable chair' while they sit at a big desk with a window behind em and supposedly write down what you tell em. No telling what they do write. Same with docs*.

They give you a 6 inch overhang to work with and you have to sit on the edge of the chair with your knees against the desk just to do that. How do you do business that way? Anymore I insist on sitting at a conference table so I can spread out and keep my stuff in order; sit with my feet in front of me instead of tucked way back under the chair cutting off circulation etc. I also give them a printed outline of what I want. Interuptions are not tolerated.


*One doc asked me a question I could not answer because I did not know the answer. It got heated. 12 years later I read what he wrote, "Patient refuses to (answer question)."

    Bookmark   October 19, 2013 at 9:54AM
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Sounds just like CA. I live here!! About your safety, try to get friend, neighbor or relative to call every night at about bedtime-then they know & you know that everything is OK. Then see if 1 other trusted person can call you in morning, make it before you go taking off for the store or something. Breakfast time would be good. Tell them it is just a "We're OK' call, no long conversations, they are busy too. If you keep it short hopefully someone will do it. My SIL called her mom each morning & each evening & they both slept better.(they often did talk more but they were also best friends) But to start with try to keep it short because if they have to go to work in morning they don't want an hour conversation each night. Might tell neighbor you are going to store & that you will call just to tell them you are back home. That way they would know everything is OK. You might keep an eye on their place(feed their dog etc) if they go away for couple of days or something, then you would get a backup to call & check on you. Talk to your relatives especially if they are close by & if they aren't they should have next door neighbors phone numbers so if they can't reach you then neighbors could see what is happening. Work it out together. Might tape 911 on phone but wife might just start calling it thinking it is friend or relative, if you think she would only call it if you weren't responding or were laying on floor then you could try it. Make it big enough so she wouldn't need glasses Probably Sharpie pen so it is dark numbers. Some phones you can program in 911, son, daughter, neighbor & it is written right next to the button you push.(I think they still have that type phone,they change technology so fast)My 2 kids are joint executors so they can't do anything without the other. If you have assets & no will your heirs probably won't get much or anything because the lawyers pretty well clean you out!! Probate on my friends inheritance is going on 7 yrs, long drawn out pain in the neck

    Bookmark   October 22, 2013 at 2:42AM
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I never thought this would be a problem for me. My husband is my care giver. I am on dialysis and don't usually carry a wallet or a purse anymore. I use a walker. I seldom drive. He carries my drivers license and insurance card with him. I always make sure he leaves them at home if he goes out during the day and I'm at home. Maybe I should look into getting a necklace or bracelet with my information on it. How much information can you put on the ID? I am a dialysis patient. They can not use my left arm for needles or blood pressure always use the right arm. Should the names of people who know my situation also be on my ID. Where do you purchase these items? Things to think about. Thanks for bringing up this important topic. Good luck to you.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2013 at 8:24AM
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Well here's how we work it tho I'm sure there's better ways:

We have 2 sets of cards for my wife: Medicare, Insurance and ID.

The ID is from the DMV and looks just like a drivers license but is titled 'Senior Citizen ID Card.' It may have been free - don't remember. DMV website should spell it out.

Medicare will issue another card(s) upon request. The insurance company will too. No charge. There is info on all this on their web sites. I just use an out of date drivers license for my copy of her ID.

This way I can carry a set of her cards too when necessary. I need them to pick up her prescriptions. Occasionally her set of cards disappears :-) so the extra comes in handy if I don't have a couple hours for searching. They always seem to reappear in a day or two. Where they been - who knows?

She wears slacks mostly now so her cards are always in her pocket at home or away. I put a rubber band around the 3 cards. I always check before we/she goes out.
I carry my 4 cards the same way and at the pharmacy I sometimes have to do a lot of card shuffling especially if the rubber bands are loose.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2013 at 5:24PM
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