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February 25, 2013



We were behind the fire truck heading home.....

So hard .....so very hard. Thank goodness you were home.


I have been down this road. It is indeed an awful situation with no easy answers. Thank God you and Andy were there.


I don't think there's anything you can do, except to be alert. And I think you know what would have happened if you and Andy hadn't come to their aid. Thank goodness for you two!

Linda @whatevergirldc

Hey Karen,
Your neighbors are so lucky you were there to help. Of course, you thought of your parents. How could you not. It's very hard watching them age. Both of my parents passed (mom at 63, dad recently at 76) and sometimes, to be honest, I'm envious of those who still have their parents. I wish my parents could have enjoyed their retirement and lived longer. I know, if my parents were still alive, they'd definitely want to live in their homes as long as possible. Our parents don't want to lose their independence.


How frightening! Fortunately you are people who knew how to do the right thing on instinct.

Try to let go of the "what if" and stick with the "thank God."


How unsettling. Would they consider getting a personal alert system (like the "I've fallen and I can't get up!" kind)? I imagine someone with dementia wouldn't be able to use it but the husband could. My grandmother had it and used it a couple of times. It also gave all of us some peace of mind and reassurance that she would be able to get help if she needed it.


Maybe they would agree to some sort of Life Line system. It is inexpensive enough and help is just a button away. There is also a company, Great Call. They make a cell phone and for a fee it can be tied into an emergency response system.


This is horrifying - and all too common. My grandparents had something similar happen to them, and their three children finally staged an "intervention" which was painful and sad and horrible for everyone but, similar to how you might convince someone to enter a treatment program, they basically told them "no" wasn't an option anymore. Especially when you're dealing with dementia AND frailty, taking a hardline approach is sometimes the only way, as much as it sucks. I commend you for being such caring neighbors! They are very, very lucky to have you.


You done good. Our job is not to be such giant pains in the butt for our kids when we're 90.


We spent 3 years with my mother-in-law in this type of situation before she passed away recently. She went back and forth between living alone where we were always afraid for her and assisted living where she was terribly angry with us because she wanted to stay in her home. The police brought her home more than once when she wandered off. It is so hard to watch someone who is physically capable deteriorate mentally and have to take their independence away from them. Your neighbors are very lucky to have your family keeping an eye out for them.


Oh my gosh. Thank goodness you were home and noticed what had happened! I absolutely understand that situation, as I have recently moved my parents into assisted living. But we started having "the conversation" about a year before. We also installed LifeLine in their home and it was a huge help. I understand what you mean about losing sleep over it. Believe it or not, assisted living isn't always the best situation either. Especially if parents are truly not happy there. :( It's so awful getting old. And it breaks my heart just thinking about it. Sigh.


I have some good friends who make a product called GrandCare. It's a monitoring and communications system that could help in situations where elderly people want to stay in their homes. Really.


How scary!! Thank goodness you and Andy were home. Richard's dad has fallen a few times lately, so his parents are getting a life-alert system. It won't help if the wife is too disoriented to know to push the button, but it sounds like the husband could have, if he'd been wearing it. It won't solve everything, but maybe it would help.


Karen, I am so sorry, and so grateful that everyone is okay! But I second Janet. It might be a nice compromise for your neighbors and their kids, and perhaps you could help by being one of the numbers given to emergency services to contact if they get called. My mom has an emergency medic alert necklace and the one time she needed to use it we were all extremely thankful that she had it.

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