Living Alone: How would you prepare in case of getting COVID?

Posted by fiesty76 @fiesty76, May 8 3:01pm

Recent reports are coming out that after initial recovery from covid, some are suddenly becoming very ill again with the virus. A recent article from Business Insider started me thinking about this and steps I might need to take if I suddenly became too ill to call for help.

One suggestion was to call and check in with a trusted friend each day who could come check on you if you didn’t call. This would have worked for me earlier but because of health factors, the persons I would call cannot do the ff-up now because of their own serious health issues.

My “plan” if I start feeling ill, is to send a daily “I’m ok” e-mail to my out-of-state daughter. She agreed because she checks her e-mails daily. She suggested that a call to my pcp and pulmonary docs now might also help guide me if I needed to call for help. When her friend’s dad became ill, he told 911 of his lung problems and they immediately admitted him to the hospital.

The entire article from Business Insider can be found at: https://www.businessinsider.com/what-its-like-to-get-covid-19-when-living-alone-2020-5

The following exerpts provided some suggestions I hadn’t considered:
“If you live alone, make a plan to check in with the same person each day. Stackhouse checks in with one trusted friend every morning. “If they don’t hear from me, they have a key to my house and they will come to check on me,” she said. She’s also prepared instructions, food, and medicine for her dog, in case she needs to go to the hospital and can’t care for it.

Sue Anne Bell, an assistant professor in the University of Michigan School of Nursing, recommends people living solo with the disease follow a similar tact by making a deal with someone trusted that you’ll touch base every day. Make sure they have your healthcare provider’s number and any other personal health information you’re comfortable sharing, she told Business Insider.

It’s also a good idea to keep note of your daily symptoms,including your temperature, which should be taken at the same time every day. “This can help you decide if and when you need medical attention,” Bell said, adding that may want to share the log with a friend or family member as well.

This process helped North play doctor to himself. He recorded his appetite, as well as how long he could stand in the shower without getting dizzy. “Based on these measurements, I would decide if I would rest more or change nutrition,” he said.

Finally, Bell encourages people to ask for help with things like getting prescriptions and groceries. In Stackhouse’s experience, people are eager to answer the call. “Before this, I honestly didn’t realize that so many people cared about me,” she said. “I have been moved to tears by people’s kindness.”
Even making the bed was impossible,” she said, let alone finding ways to safely get food and medicine and monitor her symptoms with a foggy brain.

Kearse is one of several people around the country who told Business Insider about the challenges of getting sick with COVID-19 while living alone, from the fear of falling so ill they’ll be unable call 911 to the practical burdens of acquiring food and medicine.”

For others of us in this group who are living alone, have you set up steps for “bracing for the second week crash” of the illness after once feeling better? What plans have you put in place? All suggestions will be appreciated. Hope everyone is staying safe and healthy.

@fiesty76 What a good discussion to start . I live alone with 300 people haha in my building but I do have a friend that checks on me daily we have each others house key if needed . In fact last Aug. when I fractures my back I was able to call a friend who got the key and came in to call the ambulance for me so this is most important .

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@lioness, Thank you for the thumbs up. Might have been better to post it in a different thread. I subscribe to a company and wear an alert button that will signal them electronically if I should need medical help. Once the button is pressed, they call within less than 5 minutes. A neighbor and a close friend are the first contacts the company calls if the button has been pressed. They have keys and can check on me before the company calls 911 for help. I am so glad your were able to reach a friend who came to help and call the ambulance for you! Are you taking additional safety precautions now with others living in your bldg? Do you share elevators and communal laundry and post box areas? Is yours a sr. living establ. or are you in a totally independent apt or condo? Asking because I'd thought of relocating into an indep. sr. living establishment but not so sure about safety issues now with the covid spread.

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@ feisty76 Just want to weigh in on the senior living option – my daughter was an elder care nurse for 9 years, including as case manager in her Grandma's assisted living building. Even during H1N1, they were supercautious and didn't get a large outbreak – quickly transitioned to limited visitors, no congregate meals or activities, staff infection precautions, etc. Overall, my Mom was happy and safe there and enjoyed her friends and activities and her aides (never had experience with the skilled nursing home side as she passed away before that.)
So even though it is scary, the upside is, except in an outbreak, sometimes it is the best option.
Sue

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@fiesty76

@lioness, Thank you for the thumbs up. Might have been better to post it in a different thread. I subscribe to a company and wear an alert button that will signal them electronically if I should need medical help. Once the button is pressed, they call within less than 5 minutes. A neighbor and a close friend are the first contacts the company calls if the button has been pressed. They have keys and can check on me before the company calls 911 for help. I am so glad your were able to reach a friend who came to help and call the ambulance for you! Are you taking additional safety precautions now with others living in your bldg? Do you share elevators and communal laundry and post box areas? Is yours a sr. living establ. or are you in a totally independent apt or condo? Asking because I'd thought of relocating into an indep. sr. living establishment but not so sure about safety issues now with the covid spread.

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@fiesty76 Im looking at one of those medical alert systems. We had one for my Mom she had bad dementia but she kept pressing it for no reason so we had to finally get rid of it but when she was in the nursing home she loved to pull plugs she pulled the timeclock out . Back to me . I do have that friend who has my key I do need to give her my sons number . OUr building is very safe it is independent building . When the cronovirus started right away the company had our office remove all the furniture so we wouldnt congregate . They have posters up all over about wearing mask only 1 visitor at a time can come in. We are in stay home mode according to Gov. I do feel very safe here . The office crew is home not here only 1 comes in everyday for any needs we have our maintance lives on premise . We have a gym,computer room library ,community room where we have events our residents put on the activities but the company has a Christmas party for us and in summer a party both with food and prizes. Look around and see what you may like . My place is a 1 bedroom and this building is a low income , I needed this for coming from Pa the income lever is half what it is out here . So expensive here , Hope you find something you like . ONe thing I will say since I dont have a car the train and bus is within walking distance ,my son liked that fact . There is other transportation also . Good luck .

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I don't have a lifeline locket, but I hang my smartphone around my neck on a nice cord in case I fall. Of course, it's not foolproof (I don't wear it in the shower) but I put it on the moment I get up and keep it around my neck as much as possible until I go to sleep.

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@cindiwass

I don't have a lifeline locket, but I hang my smartphone around my neck on a nice cord in case I fall. Of course, it's not foolproof (I don't wear it in the shower) but I put it on the moment I get up and keep it around my neck as much as possible until I go to sleep.

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@cindiwass That is a good idea and as far as the shower you could put it in a plastic bag and lay it on the tub somewhere does that sound feasible ?

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@lioness

@fiesty76 What a good discussion to start . I live alone with 300 people haha in my building but I do have a friend that checks on me daily we have each others house key if needed . In fact last Aug. when I fractures my back I was able to call a friend who got the key and came in to call the ambulance for me so this is most important .

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I had my brother put a lock box by my front door. I have keys to house and garage in it. I went to the police station and gave them the entry code to the lockbox. Now when 911 is called the code comes up with name, address, etc. I also have my advance directive on the spare end table by the bed. I did this after I couldn't remember where to look when the ENTs came and asked for it when my husband died.

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I put my cell phone in a waterproof passport wallet and wear it when i am working outside or if I don't feel well.

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Hello Jeanette, I can’t speak for your area but up here in Alberta we are told to put our personal directive/Advance care plans on our beside our fridge. It’s the first place EMS will go to look for directions

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