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I need some advice on wandering. It has been getting worse with my father as of late, It started just with constant wandering of the house (its a big house), and not long expanded to wandering the yard without telling anyone... now its expanded to the street, usually late at night.. (and one case of stolen car keys and a drive)... Anyways, believe or not, that is not the problem. The problem is in a couple weeks, we are moving to a small house in another state to be closer to my sister so she can help out. Here, the wandering is not that big of deal (besides the driving thing), as we have lived here for 20 years, he knows the area, and the neighbors all know about his condition. Up in this new neighborhood, its not gonna be like that. It will be a smaller house, so I will be able to keep a closer eye on him (lucky me)... but I can only stay awake so many hours of the day.
I am considering putting double cylinder dead bolt locks on the new house to keep him from leaving when I am asleep, but I am worried about how he will react to those. I will probably add door sensors to, that beep when the door is opened.
Anyone have any expeireince here, or suggestions?
I haven't any personal experience but...what I've read...
putting some kind of lock up high/down low out of vision field...a hook and eye type are harder for the hands of an elder...or the slide pin type... and painting them and the door itself the same color as the walls... works with some.
I am the caregiver for my in laws both with moderate dementia. Dad fell down the stairs one night and I knew I had to do something! We now have a motion sensor alarm system at their bedroom door and an alarm on the front door. I purchased both from the Alzheimer's store. (I also figured out Dad is usually hungry in the night which is why he was getting up. So I keep a box of cereal bars upstairs to avoid those trips down to the kitchen.) We've considered putting extra locks on the front door~ but I worry other members of the family won't be able to get out in case of an emergency. I totally understand needing to sleep! I have found I am able to sleep better knowing that the alarms will go off if they are up and about. Good luck with the move!
Google "GPS shoes". There are many types and some are attractive.
You might also want to check out Comfort Zone:
For me personally, this was the point that made me realize I could no longer keep my mother at home. I had been her sole caregiver (she lived with me) for almost five years.
Right before the tipping point, she started staying awake really odd hours. She would not sleep for 48 - 72 hours straight, then sleep all day. When she was awake and I asleep, she would knock on my bedroom door in the middle of the night to make sure I was still here.
As hard as that was, it was nothing compared to the call from our local police when they found her a good distance from our home, not aware of where she was or even who she was. Luckily for me, the police were aware of the situation and knew who she was and where she lived.
But it made me realize that if she had wandered into the street and a car had hit her, I would have to live with the knowledge that I would have indirectly caused the situation by not taking action. I could not imagine how a person would feel had they accidentally hit my mother, and I never wanted to feel that way.
So for me, that was the moment when I realized I could no longer take care of her at home and that I needed to find a different solution. As hard as that "different solution" was (and believe me, it was HARD).
PS for JalenTigh:
In California, it's illegal to have a keyed deadbolt like you're talking about. It must be possible (easy even) for a person to escape a burning building.
Something to think about. God forbid your house should catch on fire while you're gone. But with the problems we all tend to have with our LOs who have dementia turning on a burner and walking away, it's a very real thing to think about.
You don't want your home to be a prison in case of fire or other similar emergency.
Thanks for the suggestions on the GPS, unfortunatly those were the things I talked about that I could not reliably count on him to wear. He is very picky about shoes, and during warm times of the year mostly goes around in flip flops, and he is even more picky about watches.. all the ones I have seen are digital, which is not something he would ever wear, and unfortunatly my Sister bought him a nice new watch for Xmas, which he only takes off when he showers.. he is very attached to it. I found a kickstarter campaign that is trying to make a wallett insert, just slightly larger then a credit card that would be GPS tracker you can use with an Iphone, but thats is atleast a year away. Something like that is thew only thing I can think of I could count on him carrying. I am also on a seriously tight budget, so alot of things are just out of my price range.
As for the deadbolt issue, I agree, the idea makes me nervous if there is an emergancy... but I do not see any other option at this point. He is never left alone, so its not like I would be locking him in with no way out. I can not reliably count on a door sensor waking me up in the middle of the night. Medicaid has been screwing us around too, so placing him in a facility right now isnt an option either until I can hopefully get that straightened out. It is certainly getting to be at that point.
Yes... I want to bang my head against a wall.