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Ataxia UK
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Ataxia and Living Alone

I was diagnosed about 15 months ago. I rely on a Tri-Walker to get around, and I live alone. Is this possible, in people's experience? I live in Scotland, while my family live in England. I worry that someday I'll fall, and I won't be found for days...

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Hi Pukkaone 😊

My husband still works full time, and because I've already fallen and knocked myself out, a similar thought has occurred to me too. Fortunately for me, on that occasion he hadn't left for work.

Often it's not easy to concentrate and pay scrupulous attention to safety when moving around. I'm well aware of the outcome when I automatically stand and turn quickly but, even after many years of coping, I still do it🙄 I wish my brain was programmed, it would be safer😏

My Uncle is 87, he's insulin dependant and lives alone. I worry about him because he lives 10 miles away, and has no-one nearby to check on him. But he likes his privacy and refuses to move into sheltered accommodation etc. At one time I arranged for him to have an 'alert' pendant to wear, he didn't have it long before deciding he didn't need it😐 The problem is, he has fallen in the past and gone into a coma.

But, on the whole he manages very well, with us keeping an eye on him albeit from a distance 😊

I suspect you'll get replies from many people who cope successfully on their own 😊xB

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like wobblybee my husband works full time i waer a life line around the house as not aloud outside on my own, if i have a fall i can press and get help that way, touch wood not had to use but it might make you feel safer

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If you have neighbours/friends that would not mind being on your list for an alarm around your neck that might work?

A good friend of mine (I met online on another site) has quite bad ataxia and various other health problems and she is my inspiration because she lives alone. She has a wonderful blog at katilea.wordpress.com. Anyway she has 2 lovely dogs that she has trained herself. It is hard to get on the list but not impossible to get on the list for support dogs. Hope this helps : )

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Dear Pukkaone, When I read your post the first thing I thought of was "life alert" (that's what it's called here in the US, where I live) but noticed others had already mentioned it. My husband works full-time and lately I've been thinking about getting it for myself to wear (I was diagnosed twelve years ago with ataxia, but had very minor symptoms starting about eight years befor diagnosis, for a total of twenty years). You wear this small device on a cord around your neck. Anyway, something like that that would be very helpful to you, as if you do fall, you just push a button which calls for help! Also, I believe there's a type that automatically calls for help in case your unable to (like if you were unconscious, heaven forbid!). Also, someone mentioned getting an assistance dog, although I personally don't know anything about that. That's a brill. idea too! My best to you..., ;o)

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Also, I wanted to mention to Litty that I read your friends amazing blog! Your friend is truly an inspiration and her dogs Inca and JJ are adorable and so bright! Thank you for sharing..., ;o)

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As a backup how about always carrying a mobile phone, after giving the number to your support network.

Arrange for them to call regularly and react if no reply.

Regards

Andy

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I also suggest getting yourself a neck worn/wrist worn alert alarm,you'd feel safer knowing you could summon help.

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I wear an alarm round my neck and it gives me confidence to do things in the garden and round the house. I got the device from AGe UK and it has saved me in several occasions when I fall and cannot get up. there is a unit in the lounge which connects to the server. like you I live alone and try to be independent as much as possible. I use the internet for shopping etc. there are advantages to living alone because you can do what you like when you want to !!One Saturday afternoon I fell in the garden and everyone who was on my contact list was out or away so the police turned up -I have a key safe for my door keys and the code is also logged with anyone who needs to get in the house, so it is fine to live alone with ataxia

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I live alone I am 62 and suffer with C.Ataxia and Rhuematiod Arthris, I use a walker a 3 and 4 wheeler,i do relie on neighbours to pick up and move heavy things for me and yes frighten that I might fall,i have invested in a personal alarm so if I do fall within the property I can call for help,perhaps this is something you can think about? all the best for your future Lorraine Squibb

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Hi Pukkaone,

I also live alone and have similar concerns

I attend the West of Scotland  branch where we meet every month and discuss issues (next meeting in Glasgow is Sunday 10th April)

It's also a social atmosphere and we organise various social events

Don't know where you are in Scotland but please feel free to drop a line to 'ataxiaukwestofscotland@hotmail.co.uk' and I'll add you to our e-mail distribution list.

Cheers

Derek

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I am in my 70s and live alone with ataxia and other conditions. I use a pendant round my neck which I press and this alerts a service which alerts named people that I need help. I also have a key safe which is opened by a code so people can gain access to the house if there is an emergency. these 2 devices have saved me when I have had a fall- once in the garden and the police turned up and used the key safe to get in and help me get up, the ambulance also turned up. My GP and everyone who is involved in my care has the code and I feel confident in doing whatever I need to do in the house and garden. I have one provided by Age UK. all the best Sylviax

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I am in my 70s and also live alone. I have the key safe and the personal alarm. I am however finding it increasingly difficult to get about the house and to shower etc. I am not sure what the next step will be. Goodenough

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