Simple safety measures for singles, apartment-dwellers

joyfulguyAugust 20, 2003

Some years ago our local small-town municipality built an apartment residence, mostly for seniors.

Some members of the church where I was minister moved in. A number of the residents knew one another from before. Several lived alone.

I asked them whether, if the inhabitant of the neighbouring apartment knocked on the wall, could they hear it? Most said that they could.

I suggested that, as they knew each other's habits, that the first one to go to bed knock on the wall just prior to retiring and the resident of the neighbouring apartment could answer.

That way each knew that the other was O.K at bedtime.

They could carry out the same routine with the person occupying the apartment on the other side.

In the morning, the last one to rise could knock on the wall, and the other knock in reply - so they'd know that each was O.K. in the morning.

If one needed help, they could knock on the wall, say three times, then wait a few seconds and knock three times again. If they could manage to get to the wall.

That might not offer as much security, as the expected listener might be out, busy partying or doing other noisy things, etc. so might not hear the knocking.

I thought that it could offer some peace of mind to residents, at minimal expenditure of time or effort - and no cash.

Though I didn't check much - I don't know whether anyone used the idea. I don't remember hearing of it, if they did.

Some people establish telephone chains, to call one to another, then the next through a prepared list each morning. If the last person doesn't receive a call from the second last on the list by, say, 10 o'clock, s/he begins calling back up the list until they find out who didn't call, and whether there is a problem that needs attention.

It is more interesting if the sequence can be varied so that each one calls a different person from time to time, so that each doesn't just talk to the same person all the time.

It's a good idea to have more than one phone, with at least one on a table with cord hanging down so that one can reach it while lying on the floor. A wall phone might as well be on another planet, if one can't get off the floor.

Quite a number around here wear that push-button alarm on a necklace or wrist band that, through their phone, alerts a central centre, who then call helper(s). Some just buzz, some allow speaking, I think. Something like $30. start-up and $30. monthly.

Hope some of you can use one of these ideas - or perhaps it will spur your thinking to arrange something similar which could offer you and some others more peace of mind.

Let's share such ideas which might be helpful.

joyful guy

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I think those are good ideas. Some other ones -not necessarily safety measures - might be to have a small battery operated radio and extra batteries and a few flashlights (also with extra batteries ) scattered around . One in the bathoom, the closet, the kitchen etc. so if the lights go out one would be readily available and one would not have to depend on a candle or matches. there are 120 hour candles in tall glass containers available at places like Walmart 4 for under $5.00 One of these in a room in a secure place is also good to have for a long haul, but it might be safer with the flashlights.
Another idea is to have a few extra bottles water and some "tide me over" food like small cans of tuna and soup and of course crackers. That way if one has to depend on others to come to your aid you will be supplied with the necessities to keep you for a while.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2003 at 11:09PM
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Hi Minnie TX

(My Mom's name - though I didn't know her much: she got sick when I was 5),

Good ideas - especially for us here in the north-east a week or so ago.

joyful guy

    Bookmark   August 25, 2003 at 3:30AM
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Minnie is my screen anme haha

a good site for being prepard for everything is the one below.
Over at AOL we had a lot of fun on a board posting ideas about all kinds of preparedness and one of the gals made a site Enjoy!!

It isn't selling anything but good ideas and info.

Here is a link that might be useful: Be Prepared

    Bookmark   August 25, 2003 at 7:02PM
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I saw an alarm in the luggage section at walmart. You put it under the door like a wedge and if the door is pushed it sounds. It looked kind of flimsy, but the one that was in my travel magazine look good. My mom is 91, Dad died in the 50's and she kept one of his shotguns, a small one for protection. Her son in law told her if she suspects someone is in the house, cock the shotgun, the noise would scare him off. He also told her don't keep the shell because a burgular could kill you with your own gun.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2003 at 10:18PM
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Hi again, all,

I just visited my old (step-)uncle, the 88 year old beef farmer with no kids whom I stayed with for a time in late winter a year ago, as he went to the barn to feed cattle despite having a very painful back, hip and left leg (he's had three hip replacements). Don't ask me what he plans to do with the money the current animals earn for him - he doesn't know himself, I suspect.

Several friends have been telling him for some time that he needed one of those warning devices that one can trigger when one needs help.

When I visited him the other day, he had just got one of them. You have a box attached to your phone and carry a warner button with you (wrist band or necklace). When you are in trouble and need help, push the button that you carry and a signal goes to the office, then they phone a number of friends who are willing to come to your aid.

Costs about $25.00 initially and $25 - 30 per month operating fee.

By the way - one should give all of the people on the list a house key, or expect to suffer a broken door or window if a signal gets sent.

Good wishes to you all for a healthy, safe retirement, enjoying friends, family and some interesting things to do.

joyful guy

P.S. It's bedtime - son wants to attend a festival as a clown, blowing up balloons for kids, tomorrow. It's some distance away, so he wants to leave at 5:30 a.m.

I'm happy and very thankful to be enjoying good health at 74.


    Bookmark   November 22, 2003 at 1:27AM
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