THE BLOG
11/15/2012 05:44 pm ET Updated Jan 15, 2013

At 50, When Do I Get Life Alert?

I often wonder if I need Life Alert, even at age 50. Sometimes, I think we all need Life Alert if we live alone. What if I trip on my way to the fridge in the middle of the night and break my leg? Since I don't carry my cell phone in a holster, it seems Life Alert would protect me. Otherwise, I'd have to wait for the dog walker to come pick up Watson the next day. If it happened on the weekend, I'd have to wait until Monday, which seems like a long time to suffer.

I also wonder if it would save me in the event of a stroke or heart attack if I can't find my phone and need immediate assistance/to notify the Life Alert working station. Granted, I have overthought 50. Why is that my bones sometimes creak, or my right hand doesn't lay out flat? How come Aleve relieves these things? Are these signs of turning 50? Life seemed to be going so smoothly and then when I hit 50, I just felt my body change.

I've become fearful and even have started wondering when my sister, Sarah, will put me in a retirement home, as she has threatened to do -- jokingly. But sometimes I think that after living alone for so long, it would be nice to be in a place where you can play community bingo. I long for three square meals a day and dessert.

I remember being so carefree at 49. Turning 50 seemed to make me more serious. I worry more about myself and others. I can't believe my father is 81. I mean, 16 was old when I was 7. I keep thinking that my dad probably only has another 10 years, and then I'll be an adult orphan, as my mother passed away at age 64 from breast cancer. I grew up on the grounds of an orphanage, as my parents worked there, and I was always fascinated with the orphans in my backyard. It's scary to think of yourself as parentless. No Sunday calls. No checking in with Mom or Dad. No birthday card with $10. God, 50 just became even that much more morose.

But back to Life Alert: I think we should have the option of having it, just as we get the automatically generated AARP card at 49. Maybe Life Alert could be Wi-fi-enabled and allow us to take it outdoors, so that we feel safer in the subway or waking home late at night. I used to teach in a building where the Life Alert callers were located. They seemed genuinely nice, and perhaps that's where my fascination stems from. But I also think of my aunt who was suffering from early dementia when she decided after her fall to lie on the floor all night, waiting for someone to come save her. Thankfully, my cousin went to see her the next morning. My aunt had Life Alert but forgot about it. I think this is something that others in the same state might forget as well. But I'm not suffering from dementia. I just want safety enveloping my life, and I might just call Life Alert to ask them what they think of improving their services and offering them to single 50-year-olds.