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'Anti-Wandering'/Locking Doors...

Discussion in 'Researchers, students and professionals' started by Dearth, Sep 29, 2005.

  1. Just a question:

    Previously within practice I've seen such as coded door locks (i.e. you have to key in a 4-digit code to open the door) used predominantly to prevent a person leaving a building (often referred to as an 'anti-wandering device' rather than 'lock' - more p.c. I suppose... now, at University, I was told that you had to have the number written nearby, so that anyone wishing to leave could do so providing they read and retained that info.

    Now all this 'what you have to' type of stuff is all well and good, but does anyone have any info as to the law re: this? Anything documented?

    Any links to relevant info re: this appreciated.


  2. jc141265

    jc141265 Registered User

    Sep 16, 2005


    It may be of little use to you as I am in Australia, but if its law here to have the code displayed then everyone is breaking it.

    As a visitor I have to memorise the code (one time I forgot it and was wandering around for 5 minutes trying to find staff to let me out, then started worrying that when I did find staff they would pat me on the hand and so 'no dear, u live here now, don't u remember?' !)and I think it would be nuts to have it displayed because those at danger of wandering are not always incapable of reading and comprehending. It also keeps people who have no ability to protest or tell you what happened safe from strangers.

    Sorry I couldn't be of more use.
  3. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    near London
    I don't know what the regulations are.

    At Jan's home the door to the outside has a numeric pad, the door to the kitchens has a pad and the door to the staff room area has a pad. None of these has the code displayed.

    I can see the concerns in a normal environment. Imagine a fire and a visitor not being able to get out.

    But the concerns about a dementia resident getting out and coming to harm on a minute by minute basis are greater than the possible case where there is a fire.

    All visitors are told the exit code anyway. The health and safety regs probably dictate that someone with knowledge of the codes must be around all the time.
  4. Many thanks for you input both,

    Nat - if the law's being broken in your country, then (if this issue is a legal one) the same happens here also... I've worked in/visited many places that have not had the numbers displayed, and, have had to use 'distraction techniques' to prevent people from being anxious as to being 'locked in'... I know that there is a real risk of harm coming to the person with dementia as Brucie has highlighted... prime examples are such as a person wandering out onto an unfamiliar environment and being disorientated... danger of road traffic accidents being one of many hazards.

    Most of the information I have received from 'Professionals' so far has been anecdotal as to what you are 'supposed to do', and as often is the case, I've been unable to find info. to back that up (maybe this is worked on a 'local' level rather than there being national guidelines).

    I'm going to my next placement shortly and will be working specifically in Older Person's Mental Health care, so hopefully I'll be able to find out more on this and maybe even get some ducemented info. if I do, I'll post it in here for all to see.

    Again, thanks for your comments folks - I appreciate you sharing your views on these issues.



    P.S. Here's another thing that had been mentioned at University yet I have never seen it... disguising a door such as a fire exit to look like something else for example, making one look like a bookcase.

    There is a reference to it here:
    (Scroll down to the 'An Education in Design and Safety' paragraph)

    but has anyone ever seen this done in practice - just curious.
  5. angela.robinson

    angela.robinson Registered User

    Dec 27, 2004
    HI ALL ,the assesment ward my husband was in ,had all the doors disguised as bookcases and such ,even i was fooled the first time i visited ,but they dont fool all the patients ,i was speaking to a very smart alert chap ,for a while i thought he was a visitor ,he made several visits to the door (bookcase),then he sat back down with me and said ,the only thing he was short of was a screwdriver ,what for ,i asked?he looked at me as if i was stupid ,and said ,to take the lock of the door of course.The nexed day he was being fought over by 2 women patents ,the winner started walking him very forcibly,up and down the corriders and out off sight ,then the fire alarms started to go off ,they were outside and walking to the main gate ,the staff were going frantic ,there were many similiar happenings .that kept me and the other patents amused ,none planned by staff .ANGELA
  6. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    near London
    Hi Angela

    fabulous story and it does just go to show, these people have not lost it at all - they have just moved into another room of life, and we continually try to get replacement windows to enable us to see in that much better.
  7. Many thanks for sharing that Angela, at least now I know that this technique exists in reality and not just as 'an example' told by academics.

    It desn't surprise me that the chap sussed out the thing... surely anyone who spends a lot of time in taking in their surrounding would do the same irrespective of the 'dementia' issue.

    As to your comment Brucie:

    these people have not lost it at all - they have just moved into another room of life, and we continually try to get replacement windows to enable us to see in that much better.

    A very interesting perspective if I may say... and it certainly makes you think about these things - if only more people could read that it certainly would help diminish the 'empty shell' stereotype of dementia (which I TOTALLY hate).

    Thanks for sharing.


  8. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    near London
    I've spent years desperately trying to maintain a link with Jan and I tend to visualise things from my own rather strange perspective. That particular view of things just came to me when replying to your post and I must admit that I like it.

    yep, I'm weird. :D

    I definitely don't subscribe to anything that involves dementia and an empty shell. All one has to do is be around anyone with dementia and one can see there is a hell of a lot going on. It may not mean anything from our perspective, but empty it ain't. And who is to say that our reality is any more sensible?
  9. I was taught a long time back that when working with people with dementia issues (I prefer the term 'working with' rather than 'looking after' because to me it's always been a partnership) you have to enter THEIR world and not the other way around... I've always taken that on board and it's something I still endeavour to do... to have conversations that may sound 'silly' to others and make little sense, but have meaning to you and the individual concerned because you concentrate on the shared experience even if the content and context get muddled... to help someone to do what they want rather than to comply with what you feel is 'best' for them.

    I hope that none of that sounds corny... I mean what I say and am not trying to impress anyone - there's no reward in that.

    A student I know was talking to me a long while back about dementia as she had worked in this area herself, and was of the opinion that 'towards the end they are like cabbages'... I'll not go on about this, but let's just say it's along the lines of the 'empty shell' analogy.

    She only ever gave me that opinion once!

    I told her that I'm glad that she wasn't going to work in that area... and a few other things that I'm FAR too polite to repeat here.

    All I can say is, the only way I think she came to that conclusion was through being on 'automatic pilot' throughout her previous career - how else can anyone not see non-verbal signals? Recognition? Change in behavour? etc. etc. - but, sad fact is that there have been people who see others as units to be processed... washed, dressed, fed, cleaned etc. etc.

    From experience though, I think this certainly has changed... I work part time in dementia care and can't fault the staff I work with - they are excellent with patients there and people are treated respectfully.

    I have to say that 'Personhood' is a term I've only come across whilst training yet a lot of what it implies, I have seen practiced which is excellent - I would very much like to see this improve people's lives so that in time Dementia Care won't be seen to be the 'Poor Relation of Mental Health and the NHS'.

    Long winded speech from me I know - but I thought it important for you to get the perspective of a future 'professional' - as I've said before, although I'm not a carer I DO care as do a heck of a lot of people out there.


  10. rummy

    rummy Registered User

    Jul 15, 2005
    Perhaps dimentia is more natural than any other type of illness that can happen to us. When you think about it, we are born into this world as a blank book and immediately start to fill our brain with knowledge, memories and personalities. Dimentia takes that away as gradually as it was given in the first place. So the AD person ends up pretty much like they started out. Kinda a full circle thing.
  11. There's a Latin phrase I've become rather fond of quite recently that I use... it's focussing on dementia issues that made me think of it, and it strikes a certain chord:

    Carpe diem quam minimum credula postero - "pluck the day, never trust the next".

    Also the term 'seize the day' is used... to me, that's all about making the most of today... doing with it what you will because your future is unclear.

    Rather than being negative, I find that a positive way of being... you don't know what tomorrow will bring, good or bad, so you live for today... enjoy each moment as it comes - whatever you do, try to enjoy it.

    I know that if we are 'practical' we have to make plans... but to solely concentrate on the future and forget about what is happening in the 'now' just isn't my cup of tea!

    Apologies if this is a bit 'philosophical' - but it's a bit more insight into how I 'tick' (and also to show Brucie that he ain't alone in being 'weird').

    As to the 'full circle' thing Rummy - interesting perspective... not sure though if the person ends life as a 'blank book' or page, but your description has a kind of Buddhist-like serenity about it, so it doesn't sound like a bad thing...

    If I knew that I could end my life without distress or worries of any kind then that's no bad thing.

    Sorry to be a morbid s*d here - I'll leave it at that.


  12. rummy

    rummy Registered User

    Jul 15, 2005
    Hey Derth,
    Just a way of looking at it. Not really trying to put any zen into it as I don't believe there really is anything good about AD. I know when I go, I want to go with my memories in tact. Otherwise we are a blank page, like a life written with dissapearing ink ! OK, now that really is the last deep thought :D

  13. Norman

    Norman Registered User

    Oct 9, 2003
    Birmingham Hades
    Day by day

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