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eddie1261

Solo RVers - somewhat somber post - be aware

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One winter when I was solo snowbirding, as I checked into BLM's La Posa South LTVA, they asked me if I wanted to designate an emergency contact during check-in. Seems someone had died there and they didn't know who to contact. It happens, people.

Linda Sand

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As important as what to do with you when you are found dead, is what to do with you if you are found alive and unconscious.  I have a one-page document that I have made multiple copies of.  One is in my purse and another is in a place in my motorhome where it is easily found, and there is a sticker on my door that describes that location.  (I also keep a copy in my bike bag and my fanny pack I often use.)

On that page is a list of contacts (my two sons) and a medical history, plus a list of my current medications and allergies. It also lists my specialist doctors and other information someone might need to begin treating me. In addition, in the same location are envelopes containing the most recent copies of medical reports for each of my major medical problems.  Hopefully, this will mean whoever finds me will have adequate information about me and my conditions so they do not have to guess as to what might be wrong and my allergies. 

A few years ago, a good friend of mine could not breathe and barely managed to call 911 and open her front door before passing out.  She vaguely remembers EMS arriving and next thing she remembers is waking up two days later in intensive care with pneumonia.  They had her purse, but no information on her daughters or how to contact them or her medical condition.  It was very scary, so I try to be prepared.

Edited by Solo18

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8 hours ago, Solo18 said:

It was very scary, so I try to be prepared.

We who travel in pairs sometimes tend to overlook these things but we really should do most of those same practices. There are many possible scenarios which can easily involve both at one time, and that is particularly true for those of us in our later years of life. 

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14 hours ago, Solo18 said:

Hopefully, this will mean whoever finds me will have adequate information about me and my conditions so they do not have to guess

Dave's uncle passed out with diabetes. EMS took him to the hospital. When I went to get him at discharge, the doctor told me they weren't sure how much insulin they should be giving him. So, I showed them the preloaded syringes he had brought with him. They gave him another shot before we left. Had they never asked him?!!!

Linda Sand

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15 hours ago, Solo18 said:

On that page is a list of contacts (my two sons) and a medical history, plus a list of my current medications and allergies. It also lists my specialist doctors and other information someone might need to begin treating me. In addition, in the same location are envelopes containing the most recent copies of medical reports for each of my major medical problems.

I would probably add your blood type to that paper.

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I would probably get quicker care at a campground than if I had an emergency in my former home.   I carry my power of attorney for heathcare papers with me but chances are they would not look through the RV for any of this in an emergency. 

At the campground I work at we would notice if you did not check out and have the name and phone number.   They seem to be able to search for other info like insurance via the internet when they need to.

 

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My iphone only shows a key pad to call 911...I also was hesitant to check the "emergency" option for fear it would automatically dial 911 for me...but I just checked it and the keypad is all that is available.

 

Great info above, I did paramedic work for 10 years when I was much younger and found out first hand how incredibly important it was to make sure all medical records/final requests and who to contact information was, no matter how old or young you are...I have picked up as many dead or dying young folks as I have old folks...you never know when you time is up and it takes very little time and effort to be prepared.

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Good idea about the blood type.  I will add that and print out more copies.

Another big advantage of that one-page medical sheet is that it saves me from having to remember all the medications I take when I go to an urgent care or emergency room on the road.  I just hand them the sheet, and there it is.

And frankly, my son's phone numbers are in my cell phone so I could not tell you what they are from memory for anything! 

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Old thread I know, but there is something that may be useful for all of my fellow solo sojourners.  I wear a RoadID (mine is like a dogtag) that has my name and my main medical conditions.  However, there is also a phone number and/or website and a serial number/PIN that a first responder can call or lookup and get a bunch of medical/contact information.  The RoadID's were mainly made for cyclists and runners, but since I do a lot of late night walks and runs, I figured it would be best.  Also, I have no family left, so it made it important that people know who they can contact.  Mine hasn't left my neck in the past 4 years.

The interactive website/phone call contains your information, your doctors, any medical information that you want to add, scanned images of Medical Power of Attorney and Living Wills, insurance information, and who to contact.  You can update this any time by logging in and you are alerted overtime this information is accessed.  Most first responders know what these tags are for.  They have different types - ones you can add to your watch wristband, dog-tags, shoes, etc.

Maybe another option.

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dieing is easy. living is hard.

 

when i die (hope not for some decades yet) i do not care about the body, i am dead. got no more use for it.

yes i have that "dot" on it, so if possible a couple spare parts for another that needs it.

otherwise the city, county gets the bill. but then they will get more out of selling off my stuff.

and triple yes for any dog(s) that might be living with me at that time. would have to make sure they are ok.

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On ‎10‎/‎21‎/‎2018 at 10:45 AM, jeffreycentex said:

Old thread I know, but there is something that may be useful for all of my fellow solo sojourners.  I wear a RoadID (mine is like a dogtag) that has my name and my main medical conditions.  However, there is also a phone number and/or website and a serial number/PIN that a first responder can call or lookup and get a bunch of medical/contact information.  The RoadID's were mainly made for cyclists and runners, but since I do a lot of late night walks and runs, I figured it would be best.  Also, I have no family left, so it made it important that people know who they can contact.  Mine hasn't left my neck in the past 4 years.

The interactive website/phone call contains your information, your doctors, any medical information that you want to add, scanned images of Medical Power of Attorney and Living Wills, insurance information, and who to contact.  You can update this any time by logging in and you are alerted overtime this information is accessed.  Most first responders know what these tags are for.  They have different types - ones you can add to your watch wristband, dog-tags, shoes, etc.

Maybe another option.

This is exactly what we do. We learned about RoadID when we started cycling, and decided it was a good idea to wear them all the time since we traveled a lot for work. We wear the bracelet version. One thing I learned from my years as an EMT is that emergency personnel almost always look at your wrist, just to get your pulse if nothing else.

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3 hours ago, Quartermoon said:

This is exactly what we do. We learned about RoadID when we started cycling, and decided it was a good idea to wear them all the time since we traveled a lot for work. We wear the bracelet version. One thing I learned from my years as an EMT is that emergency personnel almost always look at your wrist, just to get your pulse if nothing else.

EMTs and other first responders look at your wrist for medical bracelets listing issues like allergies or diabetes, etc, so that would be a good place to wear a RoadID.

Linda Sand

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Lots of good ideas in this thread and many things to think/talk about, whether traveling solo or not. Even those of us who are relatively healthy and have spouses may sometimes find ourselves temporarily solo, whether for just a few hours or a few weeks.

We both have iPhones, as do two of our three children. Both of them follow both of us. We interact with them often enough that they know we're still alive. If they haven't seen or heard anything from us in a couple of days we'll here from them.

A couple of years before I retired I drove past an old farm house that was being burned down. Since I had seen vehicles there fairly recently, I was curious. It turned out that the elderly man who had lived there died alone, and wasn't found for about a week. They were unable to get the smell out of the house, so the decision was made to burn it down as practice for the fire department. The house was considerably larger than any RV I've ever seen.

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Guess I'll reply to this old thread too. My wife was in a serious auto crash Feb. 2016. It took the fire dept. rescue squad 18 minutes to cut her out of her auto. I was notified by an emergency-room nurse to get there ASAP.

Paramedics and other rescue personnel are not concerned with who to contact, their job is keeping the patient alive and getting them to the emergency room personnel for treatment.

That said,eddie1261 created a good plan for his circumstances, as should we all, including pre-purchasing funeral arrangements and burial arrangements; otherwise making those arrangements fall on the grief-stricken partner.

Edited by Ray,IN

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1 hour ago, Ray,IN said:

That said,eddie1261 created a good plan for his circumstances, as should we all, including pre-purchasing funeral arrangements and burial arrangements; otherwise making those arrangements fall on the grief-stricken partner.

Our plan is cremation, no urn, ashes to return to nature via a river where Dave's parent's ashes went near where we all used to camp. Simple but meaningful for our families.

Linda

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Our plan when traveling or at home, cremation where one passes.  Carrying ashes back home for memorial or disposal is easy, moving past on loving spouse  from what I understand is every state you cross has to have a permit approved/paid for ahead of time.  I'm told takes time and alot of $$ to get from point A to point B.  We have $$ put away to cover both us so we are not a burden on the kiddies.  As for truck/RV, it would get parked and wife fly home.  Son would get it back home eventually if I'm gone, my wife can't drive my won ton, little lone pull an RV.

My wife wears a medic alert bracelet as she has heart problems and associated meds.  I suppose I should get one with family contact info just incase, I don't have any medical issues so far that would directly affect a medical emergency with myself, well, I do take blood pressure meds and am diabetic, could put that on one for myself.

Edited by NDBirdman

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In the front of most phones there is or can be set up a section called I.C.E., In case of Emergency contacts.  Medics and First Aid attendants know to look for this as well as Medic Alert bracelets or now often tattoos in obvious places.

On construction sites when doing orientations, I ask about medical issues.  The worker isn't forced to tell me but are told if they have a medical issue on site, it would be in their best interest I do know which can save precious time.  Their name and condition as well as are they carrying or what is the location of meds.

Roger

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I have been wearing a MedicAlert necklace for over 40 years.  My information is as close as a dial to an 800 number and my ID from the back of the necklace which will give any medical or police person all of my info.  I am only allergic to one thing and that is noted on the back of the necklace also.

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We just finished being caretakers for our remaining parents, hers. And we were the executors and held the POA for both. They wanted burial and the plots were picked and there was a large cash and real estate to be split between her and her brother. No issues arose and now we can get out of here and get back to dry and four seasons, few if any tornadoes, no coasts to flood us, and wildfires rare for our location. We discussed it with our younger son and he knew he was our executor. There is no way we could have done what we were able to do unless we lived close by as we did. We used our base legal office to draw up our living wills, last wills, and POA. We want no funeral just a cremation and scattering in the mountains. He understands perfectly what we want done. So we're moving close by with the added benefit of getting to help our new granddaughter and two and a half year old grandson get a good start in life. The military does these things for all personnel and double check them before they deploy. And for retirees they are done at no charge in accordance with local state laws.

We had the same when we were full time for seven years. Back then there were no smart phones as today, so we carried copies and our executor, our recently passed dad, kept the originals sealed.

We engaged a local lawyer who specialized in estates and succession to handle the paperwork.

 

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While the risk is somewhat different for a solo, traveling alone the risk is still there no matter how you choose to travel. Emergency contact information is important for all, especially if you have any close friends and family. If you travel with a pet, some thought for its survival in the worst case scenario should also be considered. While we started RV travels with a family back in the 70's, by the time that we were fulltime I did have a cell phone, although it was a simple flip-phone that only made phone calls. But there are ways to be prepared and like most things in life, different plans work best for different people. The key is not so much how you cover what could happen as it is that you prepare for it.

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We kept a paper in the glove compartment giving our details of  where our RV was parked - GPS coordinates, if in the boonies, where we're heading for the overall season trip (general direction), who to contact, etc.  We often went into town alone without the other or did some siteseeing alone.  We also boondocked a lot on national forest land or BLM land. We figured if one of us were in a car accident and unable to give this information, the other person out in the boonies could be located.  This was prior to both of us carrying cells. 

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Over the years I have made numerous notifications to family members involved in fatal car crashes and I have had to help track down family members of seriously injured victims.   This is just going back a few years but everyone did not have an I-phone. 

If the victim was deceased or could not communicate then we would start with the address, or addresses, listed on their registration and driver's license.  If no one was home or those addresses were not correct then neighbors were quickly interviewed.  There are dozens of ways a police officer can track down family/friends.  A victim's address book, old mail, telephone bills in their residence (RV), the list goes on and on.  We were always able to locate family and/or friends quickly.

Having immediate family information in your billfold or purse is a really good idea.

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Nearly all modern phones have the emergency feature with critical info.  On an iPhone you enter it in the Health app, and then it shows up to anyone who presses that emergency button.  Mine is showing my name, DOB, blood type, and numbers for wife, mom, best friend, and brother to contact.  Simple, go set it up.  Also my phone has Face ID, so someone could unlock it by pointing it my face.  I turned off "require attention" so it's potentially slightly less secure, but not that much, and a medical responder could unlock it without my help.

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Having all that info on your phone doesn't help if you don't have your phone with you. :)  We're old school and it's not attached to us constantly.  But, yes, that's a good feature.

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