One of the reasons for working on the SoSeW project is that being solo for quite a while, I am learned of the many challenges of living solo. Women generally have more challenges than men – but more related to finances. But anyone living alone has to overcome some issues.
The key one for many is the worry that they may get sick or die, and no one will know. I suspect that many who live solo have had events that made them think about their vulnerability. It has happened to me. Stepping out of the shower a couple of years ago, I slipped on the wet tiles and down I went. Luckily, despite my injuries (which were only bruises), I was able to eventually get up. But it scared me. It took quite a while for me to stand up. I didn’t call for help – in part because no one could get in the house (although there was a key outside, but only I knew where it was.) As I was stark naked I was keen to resolve the issue on my own. As I had been in the shower I didn’t phone close by.
Dying or Needing Help
I am often saddened to hear in the press when someone living solo dies alone, and no one knows for some time afterwards. Like this story.
There are a number of Apps that might prove helpful, but unless the phone/tool is close by the injured/sick soul, they may not be able to reach it. Also if someone collapses without warning, they are unlikely to be able to use any app. It happens. It’s over!
You’d think that living in a residential property with others might help, but I recall hearing earlier this year of a man who had collapsed (fallen I think) and it took a few days before anyone noticed that he had not been seen.
Tips for Security for Someone Living Alone
So, if you live nearby someone who is living on their own, especially older folk, consider:
- Keeping an eye out for them. If you do not see them for a few hours/days, go and check.
- Make arrangement about keys. A key to access the home/unit should be given to someone who lives nearby who can be trusted.
- Make sure that a neighbour or someone who lives close by has the updated contact details of a family member/next of kin.
- Ensure you contact someone if you are not feeling well. If you alert someone they will be able to check more often or assist in other ways.
- Get an App or a Security Tool to keep with you, so that you can activate it when necessary.
- Arrange for the Red Cross service where they make a phone call every day to the registered person. Next of Kin/Contact Person or Emergency Services will be contacted if no one answers the phone. Check it out here.
If you or someone you know, is a senior (over 50) have a look at www.sosew.com.au – we are working on a new housing project for this cohort. Send me a message if you are interested.