Does anybody have any experience getting a Grandpad or Jitterbug (or similar) for an elderly relative who is not local to you? My Dad is reluctant to carry a cell phone and never uses the flip phone I got him 10 years ago but maybe if it was more basic /easier to use he would (?) I told him if he goes out walking he should be carrying one. He has a history of falling a few times a year and I want him to be able to call 911 if he needs to. I’m a plane ride away. He lives by himself. He refuses

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To get a pendant like a medic alert or deal with reality of maybe his situation isn’t ideal living on his own so I’m at my wits end


Have you tried putting a watch on the strap? I bought a nice NATO strap in navy blue and put a nice but not large Seiko watch that looks like an automatic on it. Then would wear it. For my MIL we bought a real pretty necklace with a brooch like decoration and she wore that.

In both cases it was "I don't need one of those! " tied with "they are all ugly".

The new Apple watch has a fall detector as well and you don't even have to tell him its in there. Have the alerts sent to you with the GPS coordinates if you want.


Do you know any of his friends or neighbors that you can talk to? Maybe if you explain your concerns to them and ask for advice on how to talk to your Dad, that could help. Or maybe they’d be willing to talk to him on your behalf. I had this problem with my mom too - I finally talked to her housekeeper and a few of her friends and they worked together to very stealthily convince her that she needed to carry it anytime she leaves the house. It was having her peers demonstrate that they do it that really helped, I think.


I’ve tried that somewhat - he pitched a fit at my older male cousin who is a military vet and told him to quit bossing him around and MYOB.
He makes fun of his friends’ “dumb phones” but I thought maybe that’s just a defense mechanism. I showed him the Uber app when he yelled at me for using an Uber (I will be kidnapped, raped and murdered) and showed him how safe it was. He actually thought the car tracking was very cool. I told him he could use Uber too if he had a smart phone. Don’t need them he says, he can just call a cab on the landline 🤦‍♀️
He won’t get help at the house like a cleaning lady either and his friends that I’ve spoken with also share my concerns so at least we are all on the same page.
I’ve told him that if he wants to remain independent he needs to modify his life a little and make some accommodations to stay in the house but he says everything’s fine and then asks me if I need the pendant. I said if I needed it I would carry one, and that I carry my phone everywhere (I’m also 30 years younger with no history of falling). He’s very proud and stubborn. I don’t want him to end up in a nursing home and I told him that if he has a serious accident that will be my only option since he won’t make any age-related accommodations to his life or home. He thinks that the hospital will just discharge him and he can go back to normal if something happens.

Yeah, that’s what my grandmother thought, too. Do you have contact info for his doctor? What you’re describing is very normal, from an aging perspective (people tend to become very rigid and stubborn in their thinking as they get older). It’s part of the natural cognitive decline that happens to all of us. Add in the fear he no doubt feels but won’t admit, and you’ve got a stubborn old guy who knows you’re right but isn’t ready to give in. If you’re able to get his doc on the phone, s/he can probably be helpful. Another option is to talk to the senior citizen services or office on aging in his home county. These are issues they help with all the time.

We consultants are natural problem solvers and we tend to approach all challenges with a similar, logical, methodical mindset — and people, especially our parents, don’t want to be thought of as a problem to be solved, so it takes a more nuanced approach. Best of luck to you and I hope you’ll be able to work out a deal with your dad so you (and he) can get some peace of mind.


Sorry you are going through this. Went through this with my mom. She refused any bracelet or necklace.
I ended up putting cameras in the house. She was strangely fine with that.
I was making arrangements to LoJack her car when she went missing and landed in the hospital and the hospital told her she would not be released to go home alone.
Not sure if mini/hidden cameras with motion detection is an option for you in common areas of the house or gps trackers in his shoes or commonly worn items. Yep. I was prepared to be that creative until my mom landed in the hospital. Good luck.


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