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Wellness Check: FAQs

The COVID-19 pandemic may prevent you from seeing your loved one as much as you’d like. This can be anxiety-inducing if you’re concerned about their health and safety, but luckily, a wellness check can ensure they are okay during dangerous circumstances. Let’s take a closer look at what wellness checks entail.

What is a wellness check?

When you’re concerned about your loved one’s well being, you can place a call with local police. Officers will then check in on the individual to ensure they are safe.

What does a wellness check include?

Officers will knock on your loved one’s door several times before awaiting a reply. During this time, the officers do not have to disclose they are law enforcement. If they do not receive a response, they will enter the premises. If the person is found to be in good health, they will notify you. However, if the person is sick, injured, or deceased, they will call for medical assistance immediately and request your presence. They will stay at the home until your arrival. Furthermore, if the individual is found dead and they suspect foul play, law enforcement will launch a criminal investigation.

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How to do a wellness check?

In addition to requesting outside help, there are many other ways to perform wellness checks. If your loved one requires more maintenance, consider using a call service. These services can either be automated robocalls or a live person checking in. Additionally, some video-calling devices are equipped with auto-answering technology. This gives you the ability to check in on your loved ones at a moment’s notice, almost as if they are in the home with you. If they do not respond to your voice, then you should absolutely resort to calling law enforcement.

When to call for a wellness check?

You should consider making a call for a wellness check when your loved one is acting out of character. This can differ from person to person. After all, some people follow strict routines while others can be more spontaneous. But if they aren’t calling you at a normally scheduled time or if they aren’t responding to your calls, a wellness check may be a good idea. Additionally, you may want to consider a wellness check during seasonal changes, since seniors are more vulnerable to temperature-related illnesses such as hypothermia.

Who to call for a wellness check?

In addition to using call services and notifying the police, you can make a friend in your loved one’s neighborhood. Ask them to check-in and knock to see if they answer (while observing social distancing guidelines). If they still do not respond, then you should resort to calling law enforcement immediately.

How to ask the police to do a wellness check?

Once you have exhausted all resources (i.e. they don’t respond to your calls or video chats, they don’t answer the door when you or someone else knocks), then you should contact their local police department and if you have reason to believe they are in serious danger, dial 911. It’s important to not contact the police unless absolutely necessary because people will sometimes place fake calls — whether it’s a prank or because there are issues between the caller and the other individual. If it turns out to be a false call, the police will press charges against the one who initiated it.

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