Have you thought about how to access your loved one’s home in the case of an emergency? I’m sure you have a key, but is there a neighbor nearby with one as well? It’s a good idea to have something as simple as “who has a key to my parent’s house” sorted-out, in advance.
Whether you choose to get a medical alert monitoring system or not, should not impact how someone would gain access to their home, if needed. Having a simple plan in advance of needing one, is always preferred. Here are some basic steps you can take to make this simple plan a reality.
- Talk to their neighbors and see who is typically around throughout the week and preferably, does not work outside the home. Do you trust them? Do you trust their judgment? If so, ask whether they’d be willing to keep a key and be available on a call list for your medical alert monitoring company.
- Who’s the closest family member or friend from your parent’s home? Are they within a 5 minute drive? If so, arrange for them to have keys to the home and be put on the medical alert monitoring system’s call list.
- Does your local police or fire department have a key holder program? Not many do, but there are some that may. Get on the phone and find out. There will surely be paperwork to fill-out, so be proactive and get started.
- My favorite is a key lock box. You know the kind. Your local Realtor uses them for house showings. Just hang it on the doorknob or mount it to the house, get a key, and lock it in the box. Give the lock box code to your medical alert monitoring company. You could also give it to family and friends so you wouldn’t have to copy so many keys! Where do you get one? Go to your local home center or you can get one from providers like LifeStation, for a small monthly fee.
Tip: Be sure to test all of the key copies that you make. You could have a bad copy. It happens more often than you think.
If all else fails, you will have to give permission to the first responders to break the door down. It’s not your first choice, but it may be your last. But really, what’s more important? Saving their door, or saving their lives? Don’t ask them, you may not get the answer you’d expect! Parents can be funny that way ; – )