Social Question

burntbonez's avatar

Do you ever get worried about living alone?

Asked by burntbonez (5194 points ) December 27th, 2012

Sometimes, when I get out of my shower, I wonder what would happen if I tripped on the edge and banged my head on the wall and knocked myself out. How long would it be before someone found me?

This brings up all kinds of vague worries that I imagine couples or people who live with others might not have. Unless they do. What if you normally live with others, but they are away for a while. Do you have extra worries about yourself? What would happen if you got sick and couldn’t get out? What if you had an accident and were bleeding severely?

Do you have such worries? What are they? Have you ever had an experience where being alone was a real problem? What was it?

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44 Answers

JLeslie's avatar

It does cross my mind now and then, but I don’t obsess about it. Kind of like a reality I am aware of. I do think it is good for people who live alone to be expected places or to call someone somewhat regularly, etc. So, someone they trust will know their routine has been broken.

Coloma's avatar

Yes, I am with @JLeslie
It crosses my mind now and then but nothing I obsess over.
I mostly worry that if I dropped dead in my bed my animals would be forgotten, or, in my hot tub, what a nasty discovery days later. lol
I also live on property in the hills and it is highly doubtful any cries of distress could be heard.

Maybe if my one neighbor up the hill was behind their barn which is 100 yards off my deck in the trees.
Overall though, after being divorced for the last 10 years from a 20 something year relationship my biggest fear is living with someone again. I’d much rather worry about lying on the floor injured for a few days than have to cater to another human in my space. Better than taking an axe to some dudes head during a snore fest. Gah! haha

I adore living alone!

Seek's avatar

Fortunately, if I died alone I wouldn’t be there to care much about it. I’m more scared of mostly dying alone and not being found. But, y’know, whatever. Shit happens.

Coloma's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr Yes, the not being found for days or weeks is gross, but dead is dead, we all die alone, regardless of who is hovering over you.

JLeslie's avatar

Dead is dead, but hurt and in distress is a different story.

blueiiznh's avatar

Nope. I also don’t worry about hiking, biking, or swimming alone.

Heck, I would even wax my dolphin alone if I needed to.

jonsblond's avatar

The thought of being lonely would worry me more than the thought of being injured with no one around to help.

ucme's avatar

You must have lived a sheltered life ;¬}
On the very rare occasions i’m home alone, particularly at night, I suddenly become all weedy & needy.
“What’s that fucking noise…no really, what was that!!?!!”
Turned out to be a mouse trodding on a pebble in the garden :¬(

Sjcluna's avatar

I think if we worried about living alone or doing stuff alone we would end up beholden to our fears and never do the things we love. I miss not having someone to share certain aspects of my life with but mostly I agree with @Coloma. It feels much easier not having to share with, and worry about, others.

Sunny2's avatar

I’ve lived alone a number of times in my life and it never crossed my mind. My mother-in-law was living in a retirement community by herself. She fell and couldn’t get up and lay there for 2½ days before she was missed. I also know people who call their mothers everyday to be sure they are okay. I guess I feel that “stuff” happens and you cope. I probably should at least have thought about it, Some preparations should have been made. I’m usually a cautious risk taker, but I never thought being alone was a risk. I like what @Sjcluna said. Fears are very debilitating.

CWOTUS's avatar

If worrying about it would help to fix anything, then I would worry about it. As it is, and since “worry” doesn’t resolve anything, then no. I think about it, though, and I keep my cell phone charged and in my pocket, and take my time walking down stairs, try to chew my food carefully and things like that.

But I don’t worry.

janbb's avatar

Because it is still rather new to me to be living alone, I do think about it at times.

CWOTUS's avatar

Oh, @janbb “think about” makes perfect sense, and is an absolute requirement. I’ve been living (mostly) alone for the past 5 or 6 years or so. I “think about” logistics, safety, even accidentally locking myself out of the house, you name it. If you live alone you have to “think about” things (even being certain to come home every night to walk, feed and water the dorg). But worry makes no sense at all.

Leaving town on a one-week business trip, for example, which most of my colleagues do frequently and without a great deal of though to “house and home” is a problem for me because I have to stop the mail and the newspaper deliveries, make arrangements for the dorg, make sure someone can get into the house in case of a power failure, use up the fresh food in the fridge or throw it out (better earlier than too late!), all of that. But I don’t worry about it.

Fortunately, I killed off all of my houseplants several years ago, so I no longer have to be concerned with them. I do sort of miss ‘em, though.

janbb's avatar

@CWOTUS Yeah, I’m getting really good at planning and thinking about, packing and going. But one reason I don’t have a dorg yet.

Jeruba's avatar

When I was a young person I lived alone for ten years (and loved it). I had a boyfriend, but I wanted my place to myself. I remember feeling spooked late one stormy night when the house was all creaky and creepy and I wished I had someone close by to cuddle with besides my cats. Other than that, no.

At present, very many years later, I have a full household; but there are times when I’m home alone, and then, I confess, I do worry a little. There have been enough accidents over the years that it’s not such a stretch of the imagination any more. That’s one reason that I keep my cellphone close by pretty much all the time.

Shippy's avatar

I think about it often.

bookish1's avatar

I’m 3 years into living alone and I wouldn’t say it worries me, but I do have to think of it. It’s part of being a (mostly) responsible type 1 diabetic. No one’s around here to save my ass if my sugar goes so out of whack the meter just says LO or HI (it’s happened before!). I’m pretty used to that and my survival instincts definitely kick in.

I do, however, absolutely hate living on my own when I’m sick with a cold. It’s just lonely and dispiriting.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Since my husband and I chose not to have children the thought has crossed my mind. Like I better not get any dogs because they may eat me if I die and they’re trapped here…lol, that kind of random thought.

Then I comfort myself by thinking of ways to kill myself if I’m really sick or tired of being alone. :)

glacial's avatar

No, I don’t dwell on such thoughts. I actually quiet enjoy living alone.

wundayatta's avatar

Sometimes I sit in my office with my door closed, and wonder if I had a heart attack or swallowed my tongue, how long would it before someone found me. My wife would wonder after a few hours. Hell, maybe after an hour. But that would be too late.

I was home alone today because I was sick, and she took the kids to her sister’s house. So noone was there if anything happened. Like tripping and falling, or whatever. It made me think about what it would be like if I lived on my own. I guess what people here say is right. You can’t think about it. It’ll drive you nuts. You just make plans—due diligence—and then live your life.

More and more people live alone these days, according to the census. I wonder if we will see more preventable deaths as a result. I wonder if living alone leads to higher mortality rates. If so, would people be interested in changing their lifestyle?

Coloma's avatar

@wundayatta I don’t think household accidents discriminate, and, even of you live with others you are going to be home alone at times. Murphys Law, you have a wife and 9 children but the one day they are all gone at the same time you fall down the stairs and break your leg. Personally I think it’s kind of amusing to wonder, of course I live in a high risk area as it is.
Rattlesnakes under my deck stairs in the summer, secluded little house, I rather like the humorous “what if’s” ? haha

josie's avatar

No. I will do my best to prevent it, but in a pinch I would accept it.

Unbroken's avatar

There was a point in time in my life that I was really sick. I was worried no one would find my body and my cat would starve or die of thirst.

Shows you how sick I was a cat would eat off me if it a survival thing. So I had an old friend I still had the number of but was no longer in contact with. I told them if I didn’t call every day call the police for a welfare check. I even put an extra key out and told him where just in case.

Other then one other instance I have always loved living alone. My mess is mine never have to clean up others I have my own schedule and if injured well I can figure something out.

Blackberry's avatar

Ask yourself how likely this is to happen. This isn’t Final Destination, lol.

gailcalled's avatar

In some communities there are safety measures available for people who live alone, particularly if they are middle-aged or older.

Here our county council on the aging has a system where you have to call the hotline phone number every morning by 10 AM to let them know you are OK. If they don’t hear from you, someone is sent out to check.

There is also the reverse service. Someone from the office will call you every day to check on health, safety and concerns.

This does not address the dreaded emergency, of course.

My mother lived in a facility in area that provides people (for a monthly fee) with a “link to life” alarm button they wore around there necks. The morning my mother had the massive stroke that took her three days later, she had a few seconds of premonition and was able to press the alarm.

The nurse was in the apartment within five minutes and had an ambulance there shortly thereafter.

There are various similar medical alert services available. Here’s one

Get fast access to help, 24 hours a day, seven days a week
Lifeline with AutoAlert will automatically call for help if a fall is detected
Lifeline is easy to use and can help you remain independent in your own home
Unlike a cell phone, Lifeline is waterproof, always charged, and within reach to call for help.

Eight years ago I took a very bad fall backwards down some steps off my deck. I knocked myself unconscious and woke up several hours later in bed, bloody and with broken bones and bruises. Luckily, I was able to get to the phone and call for help, but to this day, I have no memory of those hours or how I got from an outside deck up a flight of stairs and into bed.

I spent 6 days in hospital, 2 in ICU with two broken ribs, huge enough bruises for the police to suspect that I had been beaten, a torn rotator cuff, a subdural hematoma and a broken stapes bone that left me partially deaf in one ear.

It seems a distant memory and I don’t fret much about living alone or carry my cell phone with me always. (There’s never a signal here, anyway.) It’s in the laps of the gods.

gailcalled's avatar

edit; “their” necks.

JLeslie's avatar

@Blackberry Well, there is a business born from this very thing, mainly aimed at the elderly. You know, those ads where the old lady falls and can’t get up. My aunt and my grandmother both wore those buttons around their neck.

Leanne1986's avatar

It never really crosses my mind. I have lived alone for the past 3 years but my boyfriend is around so much that it wouldn’t be long until I was found. I worry more about my dad who lives alone because I am the only one who really visits him. If he doesn’t answer the phone after I have been trying to reach him for a few hours, I start to worry.

Coloma's avatar

Perfect irony, I whacked my head, HARD, today, on the temple when I bent down and then stood up and nailed my head on my desk. haha
Well…if my brain bleeds out during the night, oh well….off to bed now. lol

blueiiznh's avatar

waiting to hear from @Coloma

Coloma's avatar

Good morning! No brain damage, other than the usual. lol

bookish1's avatar

What a relief, @Coloma :-p

Coloma's avatar

^^^ lol

wundayatta's avatar

Wait, how can you tell? ;-)

Ela's avatar

I never worry about living alone but I do worry about being alone for the rest of my life.
I don’t want to be alone all my life.

bookish1's avatar

@Ela : I feel like that too :-/

Ela's avatar

@bookish1 we should be roomies till yours comes along! i’m an awesome roommate. i’m neat and clean and pay my bills! (and i promise i won’t eat all your oreos) ; )

bookish1's avatar

@Ela : Haha, sounds good… And the oreos are all yours, anyway. You’ve just got to watch me if you keep any Chex Mix around ;)

Ela's avatar

@bookish1 just the cereal (i love rice chex) up to you to mix it… then i canno make no promises, sorry : (

Coloma's avatar

Pssst. Stay away from my banana taffy you two.

blueiiznh's avatar

@Coloma I will trade you some cherry pie for some banana taffy

Coloma's avatar

My monster 18 lb. cat “Myles” will be the death of me. I am always tripping over his huge body sprawled out on my persian rug in the living room in the dark. haha
He is black and white but when laying on his belly he totally blends right into the floor. I had a nice trip this morning when I tripped over him in the dark. Maybe I need to put a nite lite on him at bed time. lol

Ela's avatar

Hot diggity damn I loooove ‘naner taffy!!
You know @Coloma… me and Myles… we’s like this <crosses fingers> and as soon as he trips you up again I’m gonna pounce in and roll ya for the remainder of that taffy!!

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