What would you do if you are alone at home, and you had a serious fall?

fall2    fall1 I was with a few friends in Petaling Jaya last night.  My Malaysian friends have retired; and we discussed life during retirement, and getting old. Many of my friends were fit; they play golf, and travel extensively. Two weeks ago, I attended the wake of a long time friend of mine who has been with me in the newspaper industry for almost 30 years.  He was only 55, and he suffered a stroke, I understood no one knew about it, until it was too late.

Many of us are alone at some times of the day.  As for me, I travel a lot, staying in hotel rooms most days in a year.  Well, I sleep alone most nights.  How I wish I had company every night; unfortunately it is not the case.  Guys, I swear by what I say.

Seriously, dont meant to joke about being alone.  But, many of us are alone at times, at home, in the office, while travelling or at an unknown or familiar place. Husbands, wives, girlfriends are not around to help or may have switched off their phones.  We may have a fall; we may sleep through and not wake up.  We could have locked the room door.  The chest was getting breathless and the pain was spreading.  We may have only 10 minutes; and we dont know what to do.  The only thing we have is our phone or smartphone.

Really, guys and gals, what would you do?

Terence Seah

Author: Terence Seah


11 thoughts on “What would you do if you are alone at home, and you had a serious fall?”

  1. I was party to witnessing a 60+ man, fall backwards as he was about to sit on a chair during lunch. This incident did not happen while he was alone at home. Even though he was carrying a walking stick, he fell backwards. Seems we are vulnerable to falls, worst if at home and no one knows.

    Terence Seah

  2. The crux is do we really want to widen our circle of friends and not ashamed to
    enlist for helps if we need them disregarding our pride and ego. Or do we want
    to do our own things, impose self-isolation and stay at home to watch Korean drama.
    To illustrate a point I hereby like to relate a true anecdote recently happened.
    To my surprise, I received a call from a friend in Clementi asking me to repair his
    leaking washing machine. I could turn him down as I am not running a workshop nor a experienced repairer. But somehow I wanted to try out. It took me one hour to travel by MRT to reach his house. After looking at the inside of the machine, we realised we had to change the whole set of water hose. After the repair, the machine was in good condition and it was about 12 pm. My friend decided to buy me a lunch as a gesture of appreciation.
    Up to today we remain good buddies although we sometime have our differences. We meet regularly for lunches and for coffee chats.
    This is my way to occupy my time, my mental health and hopefully my wellbeing.
    There is truism in the saying: “No man is an island.”
    Robert Ong

  3. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on “What happens when we get old, and when we get a fall, being alone at home. Many of us are alone at certain times of the day,

    When I put up this topic for discussion, i was thinking that as SHC is a focused club for seniors in Singapore, and that members join to meet friends among the same age group, we should find ways to help one another as we get older. Electronics and high tech devices will help; but maybe there are other other ideas.

    Some of us would like to offer part time services; eg chatting with old and weak members over the phone, and helping keep sanity among the elderly SHC members. I think this social contact is important, after years of socialising, travelling, walking and eating together. But one observation while discussing with some members is “It is difficult to accept volunteering free services. As a result, such options may not work. Many would just prefer to stay at home, watch Korean movies.” I like to keep this idea alive, because this is one way to keep ourselves alive too.

    Let’s think further.

    terence seah

  4. Thank you all for your concern…it’s quite comforting to know there are many people who care. I think this is what Terence meant when he talked about being alone and not having anyone around our in close contact.

    Fortunately for me I’m not in that position…but it does get me thinking about the problem and how we could address it. Yes, there are many devices, electronic or manual, around which could assist; but the drawbacks are costs and whether you could get to the alarm to activate it.

    That’s why I’m waiting for the Apple iWatch which could possibly be a solution: But I’ll have to wear it all the time, even taking my bath, and it has to be recharged daily. Until then I’d have to make sure that I keep my wife (I was about to type “wits” but the predictive mode decided that this would be better) and senses about me!

  5. Kenneth,
    it is always frightening to fall or to experience an ‘episode’ when you are all alone and there’s no one around.
    I believe there is a ‘bracelet’ that is worn around the wrist and it is connected to a centre somewhere nearby, a few blocks away from your home, that is monitored by one or more personnel, who will respond to signals sent out by this bracelet should one fall etc.
    Another monitoring system is one that has the whole house fitted with small button -like monitors which track a person’s movements around and even some distance outside the home. This makes use of the smart phone that most of us have. There was an article in the straits times recently, possibly the sunday times.
    Hope this helps. Take care.

  6. Hi Kenneth,

    Singapore does have devices to address this need http://www.c3a.org.sg/Learning_contect.do?id=608

    But the monthly subscription of $38 is not cheap.

    I also came across an article in the papers a couple of months ago – but I don’t have the clipping – Which talks about a device that can monitor the movement of the elderly who’s alone at home but it’s not exactly a cctv. Can’t remember what it is. Supposed to be in the market by the end of the year.

  7. Hi Kenneth
    It’s unbelievable that such an incident had happened to you recently. You look young, fit and of course very cheerful. Keep it up… but do take care!


  8. I just cannot help but comment on this post…because I had a recent experience of just passing out in the bathroom. I cannot recall what happened and I cannot recall if I had slipped or fallen; but I ended up with a bad bruise over my left temple, a sore shoulder on which I must have landed, a big blue-black mark on my thigh and a sprained wrist which lasted longer than the other injuries.

    For the life of me I cannot remember a darn thing of what happened…there was no dizziness, nausea or heart problem: the doctors say it is a temporary event and fainting (syncope) is quite common. But I’m afraid that it could happen again and I might be alone, as Terence said. Meanwhile I’m carrying on as normal and it is just a bad memory to me.

    I am waiting to see if the Apple watch could have an app which could monitor such conditions and alert emergency services if a fall or fainting happens.

  9. No matter how spritely we are and how healthy we are with active ageing NOW, the scenario Terence painted will come .
    These are the following options available depending on the level of support relatives you have, your financial resources.
    1) Your well to do, filial children stayed with you and provide a maid to look after you.
    2) Your well to do, filial children put you up to a nursing home or provide you with professionally trained caregiver. If you have no children but have lot of savings, you can arrange this yourself if you are staying alone. Check out Active global care giver services or 65360086. Various level of support are available at different cost
    3) If you cannot afford any of the above and are staying alone, you can use this Personal Emergency Response System which Singapore being claimed a developed country is not very well developed in this respect. The concept is that the elderly wears a monitoring device on their body and will detect a fall or any unusual non activities like drop in body temperate or heart beat stoppage will transmit a signal to a medical or emergency call centre.
    4) If you cannot afford any of the above, the least you can do is to have a elderly phone with the top three emergency number registered in it that by pressing a single BIG button it make a call to them. These top 3 number can be your next of kin that WILL pick up your call if it come from you, 999, medical emergency centre.

    All this is good only if you are still conscious to make that last call if when debilitating heart attack or stroke hit you. Even if you able to make that call, you need to be able to talk sensibly enough to get the attention of the opposite party and provide the address before you hang up..

    That been said, the signs of these two medical condition are aplenty for you in advance for you to heed.
    I have posted an article called Feed your wealth, Heed your health under the cancer heading not too long ago.


  10. Quote Terence,
    “We may have a fall; we may sleep through and not wake up”
    This is a good way to go, isn’t it?
    Quote William Shakespeare in “Julius Caesar”,
    “He who cuts off 20 years of life cuts off so many years of fearing death”.

    Get all the necessary paper-work done and enjoy while we still see the sun rise.


  11. Hi Terence
    You said “The only thing we have is the phone or smartphone.” Then the quickest thing is to call the Emergency ambulance no. 995 which should be
    kept in the phone memory as the first number in the list.

Leave a Reply