To live alone safely

lilodMarch 15, 2003

I live in relative isolation, though my daughter lives on the other end of the property, it has a lot of woods and brush and so it's not easy to see what's going on in my place. So a certain amount of prudence is required.

I make sure I have a fire-extinguisher close by the wood-stove and one in the kitchen, the smoke alarms are kept up.

Most of the time I lock my doors, though some times I forget.

If I do something that could become a problem, I make sure DD is on the property and aware of my intentions and I take my cordless phone with me - though I don't know what it would do for me should I fall off the roof, for instance - it would be on the roof and I would no be....

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I run hot and cold on personal safety, depending on the issue. I keep my door locked when I'm home but I sleep with my first floor window open in good weather. Not to mention having no protection at all when I'm working in the garden. Most of the time I drive with all car doors locked and I try to park near good light. But I carry no personal protection so I'd be easy pickin's if I was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Years ago I found myself petrified with fear as someone tried to break in my apartment. I tried to call 911 but I kept getting a wrong number because I couldn't make my fingers dial it right. Memories of that have always prevented me from keeping any kind of gun or pepper spray or anything else like that in the house. I don't think I'd be any different under stress now.

As for health, that's the single most difficult thing for me about living alone. I had a serious back episode last fall when I woke up paralized with pain. My choices were to call 911, call a friend or try to wait it out. I opted to wait it out and it took 2 days before I could get myself upright. Weeks before I could get myself upright without screaming in pain. And months before I felt resonably recuperated. During all this time, I have to admit that I wondered about the wisdom about living alone when you reach the age where your body is not your friend!

    Bookmark   March 15, 2003 at 8:52PM
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IMO, it's a sad fact of life that there's no such thing as living alone in safety. Locked doors and windows only keep out the honest burglars, and granny-bashing is becoming a popular pastime. But if you become paranoid about it, life isn't worth living anyway. Just like if you see pix of a car crash on TV, so you won't go anywhere near cars, including the shopping centre..... That's just plain silly. I'm a bit fatalistic about the whole issue. I don't take undue risks, but nor do I get in a tizz over it. The odds are just as likely of me getting bashed or robbed or worse, than as getting run over by a bus. I agree though, that illness or injury when alone is a cause for concern, particularly for the elderly, and it's a thought that gives me no comfort for my future. But, since there's not much I can do about it, I'll just have to accept whatever the gods hand out to me when the time comes.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2003 at 11:47PM
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I have an ADT alarm system because the first Christmas in my condo here, someone tried to break in. They did not succeed. I was home at the time. Several other condos DID get broken into. The band of teenagers was caught.

I have a wireless system on each of the windows & doors downstairs. I feel real good about that, because of those big ADT signs and stickers, etc.

I don't live in isolation like you do, however. Geez, I wish I did. If I DID? I'd get myself (via rescue, pound or adoption from HS) several large Rottweilers or Boxers or GSD's. We had a GSD growing up and they are so protective. Nothing says "keep away" to a burglar better than a 100 pound dog who loves his owner.

Now re: Fire and such, I make sure my smoke alarms are up and running and am very paranoid about leaving the house with the dryer on, etc. My neighbors here are great, since we are all connected via townehomes, if one needs the dog walked and one needs mail collected during vacation, we oblige.

When my Epilepsy is acting up (been seizure-free for 3 yrs) I am real paranoid but of course my mom keeps close watch on me. The last time I had one at work, thankfully, because they took me to the hospital and I was down for 3 days. I did teach my daughter how to dial 911 and she is the Phone Queen so she knows that if mommy has problems with seizures, etc., to call 911 and then call my mother.

- darkeyedgirl

    Bookmark   March 16, 2003 at 8:28AM
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I am not so worried about personal safety, this is a good place to live, and DD has "the" dog, a 70+ lb black dog of uncertain ancestry, she has taken the job to guard the perimeter.
For health problems, there is fast response to 911, we have a very good volunteer fire department, almost all the firefighter are qualified EMT's and one lives on the property next to mine, that's about as good as it gets! If it's serious, they have a chopper standing by to whisk you off to an appropriate hospital.
I am careful though, about who comes onto the property. There is a bunch of homeless or semi-homeless fellows hanging about an area in town, and they say they will come and fix small problems for a few bucks, but aside from the fact they never seem to finish a job, don't have the proper tools and all that, I don't want them on the property, I don't trust them.
Unlike Mr. Smart, if my roof needs work, I hire a roofer and pay the price - and I have a lot less money than he does.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2003 at 10:05AM
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I think the lifeline system is great. you have a little necklace that you wear when you are home and if you get hurt and you are alone, you just press it and someone will ask what's wrong. If you dont answer they contact a designated person of your choice to check on you. they can also send an ambulance if needed.

I would go out the back door if I heard someone coming in the front. I have a big friendly dog but she barks and makes strangers think twice before getting out of the car. I can "sic" her because it is a game we play but it just makes her run around and bark. I dont think she would harm anyone.

I am careful about where I go at night which irritates me but better safe than sorry.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2003 at 12:07PM
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This is a major concern of mine. I live in an isolated area. There is no one for a half mile or more on 3 sides and there were 2 neighbors on the north side. My next door neighbor died suddenly last June, but his son moved back home and was living in his dad's double wide mobile home. But, he left just as winter set in and hasn't been back since. The neighbor that is across from my next door neighbor's place also left for the winter but they are back now. So, I was alone with no neighbors all winter. These neighbors aren't real close to me anyway and there is a small woods between me and the next door neighbor's so that I can't see their place when the leaves are on the trees. I never met the neighbor's son or the people across the road from them and they have lived there for 5 years. People in my area aren't very friendly and keep to themselves. Since I have 4 horses to take care of there is some risk of accident. About 5 years ago, I had a series of "accidents" while feeding my horses so that I had to carry my cell phone with me in case I really got hurt. I try to be careful and have eliminated some of the obsticals that caused my accidents, but there is always the possibility of falling down the steps or some other mishap. I lock my doors on the car and always wear the seatbelt. I keep my house doors locked, but they are easy to break into. I don't have any smoke detectors and I have too many newspapers and magazines laying around. I will have to correct those problems. My place is hard to find so even if I called 911 they probably wouldn't be able to find my driveway. It is kind of scary to think of all that could happen.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2003 at 11:33AM
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I have a fire extinguisher, change the batteries in the smoke alarms at daylight savings time, I have a BIG good dog, who barks whenever anything is around, good outside lighting, go to bed with cellphone and portable next to bed.
Read a good idea once for women living alone in remote areas-buy a pair of men's workboots, get some mud on them, and put outside door at night, make sure to bring inside in morning, and repeat this process. You can also hang some bells or windchimes on your doorknobs, you will know if someone jiggles it. Some people go as far as putting bottles or something breakable on their windowsills. There are all kinds of door guards you can buy, but I don't have those, afraid in a fire I wouldn't be able to undo them. I keep a few flashlights around the house as well.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2003 at 8:45AM
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