Panic buttons and panadol

I've had a pretty good run of not falling over in a good long while, but I ruined that streak yesterday. Ice was everywhere outside on the incredibly treacherous decking (decking so bad the Council wanted to rip it out before I moved in six years ago, but since they didn't exactly offer to put anything else in, I declined). I went down trying to feed the Henz, and there was no one to hear me call out - Dutchman was dead to the world in bed, no neighbours up. With difficulty, I crawled over to manage to haul myself up on some furniture and gasping in pain and shock, made it inside where the Dutchman was able to disinfect my cuts and bruises.

Combine that with a rather horrible fatigue filled day (the fatigue has been terrible for months now, and we're not sure what is doing it), I was really grateful my fiancé could drive me to and from my appointment, speak for me in said appointment because I was having trouble stringing sentences together, and do a bit of cleaning for me when he was here, but he had to go home to UsHaus to do more unpacking, and back to his old house to clean. He did NOT want to leave me on my own, but there's no choice right now. I could see the gears turning in his head, however...if I hadn't been able to find a way to get back on my feet and stagger back inside, what would I have done? If he hadn't been here, what would I have managed to do? How long would I have been out there?

So I guess we are looking into 'panic button' solutions again. Now, to be honest, I think the old 'panic button round the neck' things are useless - they assume you have a landline (we don't, everything we do is in mobile or on the internet - landlines are old tech these days). There's also some other functionality I'd like sort of like fitbit but more in the sense of helping track medications and letting Dutchman know if I've forgotten to take them, making sure I eat, etc. The new thing these days is 'personal emergency response' - which would make more sense for the both of us, as it can be tracked online, by phone, and has a better range. Anyone have any experience with these? They mostly get sold to elderly people, but that tends to mean they're also very simple in their design and don't have as much functionality as I would like. There are systems in the US I like the look of but they haven't made their way here yet (although the system looks pretty good to me, and it has made it to the UK).

I don't always carry my phone everywhere with me, so it seems best I put something on my person. The Dutchman still travels a lot and won't always be around - while I'm usually resilient, some things I can't ignore or hope won't ever happen.

Now I'm off to take more anti-inflammatories, it took 24 hours before I could feel the damage I did to my muscles. Hey ho.

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12 Replies

  • In the meantime - why not make a conscious effort to carry your phone? And there are panic button type systems that will make the call via a mobile for people who don't have a landline - as many don't these days.

    I assume you have seen this?

    I saw an article last week about Alan Titchmarsh apologising to the nation for decking! It may be fine in a dry country - but really, not in the UK...

  • Have to agree about carrying your phone until you can get a system you prefer. Mine is with all the time. I live alone. There is a reciprocal arrangement with next door, where a neighbour has MS , and we have each other's keys. If all else fails, very loud yells, crashes, and banging on the wall results in help to them or to me.

    Other than that, there's a feature on my phone which will allow me to ask it to phone my son, or good friends who have keys. My door is always locked, but if I'm very wobbly the key comes out of the lock and the phone is at the ready. Not keen on son rescuing me if I'm nekkid and stuck in shower but he claims he'd rather be traumatised by the sight than otherwise.

    Only works with v trusted people who are nearby, and can rush, not much good if I'm unconcious, but I've looked into other arrangements, costs, and reputation in response, and it's best for me at the moment.

  • Yes, I normally do carry my phone but I have found it requires me to remember to carry it but there are times I can't ( when I'm in my pjs with both hands holding chicken feed, as I was going yesterday). If I put something on I won't forget about the bloody thing! Or such is the hope.

    No chance on neighbours; next door thinks I'm a fake as I am 'sometimes seen walking' soooooo nvm there!

  • I can see the problem there! To be honest, I was in the habit of personal phone with me at all times during difficult divorce shen one or other son might need me urgently. The habit has stuck. Hope you can find a good solution x

  • Small handbag with a shoulder strap - I have two tiny leather ones just big enough for a phone and not much else. But they do the job!

    But can I be a bit horrid - YOU have to do YOUR bit to avoid unpleasant situations. And going out onto wet decking in low temperatures in your pjs was really not a very sensible action. Now was it? Be honest!!!

    Do the risk assessments FIRST!!!

    We got my MIL a pendant because there was no way we'd have heard her in a house with 2 foot thick stone walls. Daft woman sat it on her coffee table or the bedside table when she went to the loo in the middle of the night. Hardly the objective I pointed out to her! You can't cure...

  • Well I suppose I could let the chickens starve instead! :p This is why they are being rehomed, and also why I am moving. So yes, being honest with myself is why I'm trying to move in the first place. I know the danger is there which is why I have abandoned my garden last year and barely left my house.

    But that ain't living!

    I'm no longer wearing bags due to shoulder damage. And again, if this is something I have to remember every single time I want to do something... I won't. It needs to go on me and then I need to forget about it for once a week. I think I will try a system I've had my eye on, will give it a trial in a week or two.

  • No - they are so tiny it won't hurt your shoulder and anyway you need to wear across you to avoid losing it when you fall. There are phone holders that clip onto a belt too.

  • Decking in the UK is madness! I did my best to clean up and maintain the poor job when I moved here but it's pretty hopeless. I will stress to council they should rip it out and level it before someone else moves in. But I doubt they will be bothered.

    I did find that sheet, thanks! I think I may go for the 'Buddi' system I've found as a trial next month and see how I go. First week I move in, I'm probably going to be home alone a lot of the time as Dutchman has work commitments and I can see him starting to worry already

  • The only thing that is worth it in the UK is an Executive Garden Shed (aka conservatory). We had lived outside a lot in southern Germany and it was hell returning to the UK. The house was L-shaped - so the corner was filled in with a conservatory that formed half the living kitchen to which it was open plan. Did it again at the next house though I couldn't use it to make the kitchen a decent size - both north-facing so we didn't cook when the sun was on it in summer. Cut heating bills too.

  • UsHaus has a conservatory! It's also north-facing but I love BBQ so we will do that a lot. Weirdly the landlord put a heater in the conservatory - may as well heat the outside! And the patio is level slabs so that's definitely a one up. Everything is downstairs for me, and level, and we will be able to park my chair indoors...bonus!

  • We had radiators in ours - they were double glazed and we used them as living areas. If I did one again it would be with underfloor heating under ceramic tiles - one large storage radiator effectively. Our daughter lives in a an all-electric flat which originally had storage radiators (inventions of the devil too IMHO) so we replaced them with electric underfloor heating. It is fantastic - the floor is warm, your feet are warm and your head does't mind it isn't as warm at 5 feet altitude!

    I had a big concrete Italian-style grill outside the back door with a covered area between the door and the grill. Even used it at New Year.

  • An update; I went with the Buddi system; wristband looks like a Fitbit so I don't have that soap on a rope look happening, and the clip that goes with it is wearable so I am covered everywhere, including outside the house. Waterproof, long charge on battery, response time w/in three minutes for a microphone convo with the emergency detection centre. So far, so good. It's given me a bit more confidence. So I will see how it goes. I do take it off at night to charge up but I have my phone to hand them so it's all good.

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