• All threads and posts regarding Coronavirus COVID-19 can now be found in our new area specifically for Coronavirus COVID-19 discussion.

    You can directly access this area >here<.

Dad knocking on neighbour's door at night.


Registered User
Sep 4, 2011
I have had two calls from dad's carers, and another from his neighbour reporting that for the last two nights dad has knocked on the neighbours door at about 11pm, asking where his mother was. The particular neighbour whose door dad knocked on is an 85 year old widow whose husband had had dementia many years ago and used to 'escape' his nursing home and do just the same thing, so she is rightly distressed by my dad's behaviour.

I have spoken with her today and another neighbour, but other than sympathising with her and hoping that this doesn't happen for a 3rd night or more, am at a loss as to what to do. I have advised her not to answer the door and if it gets too much for her to phone the police - Dad is logged as a vulnerable adult with them and they have my contact number, but as I live 30 miles away I can't be of immediate assistance.

I have also asked to speak with Dad's GP but she isn't available until Tuesday.

All this to end a stressful week including a planning appication from hell next door to me and my youngest being excluded from school temporarily for a stupid prank that got out of hand!!!!! Excuse me whilst I scream. Arrrrggghhhh!

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
I told my neighbours not to answer the door when my husband knocked on, Sheepteach. He wanted them to help him find and estate agent so he could put the house on the market and `go home`.

IT looks like you are bordering on having to make tough decisions sooner or later.


Registered User
Aug 24, 2013
Sadly Sheep, I have to agree with Grannie G it looks like you're coming to a stage where changes may need to be made. The "85 year old widow" is entitled to go to bed in peace in her own home and the police have been known to be less than helpful no doubt due to the many calls on their time.
I think contacting Social Services and see if they can do anything might be a way forward but when it gets to the "wandering stage" he's as much a danger to himself as he is a nuisance to other people.
They say troubles always come in threes so; Dad, the school exclusion and the planning application from hell means at least you have your quota, unless...is it me or can anyone hear water dripping:eek:

Ann Mac

Registered User
Oct 17, 2013
I'm another who has to agree with the other posters, Sheepteach :( It was a very similar situation that led to My Mum in law no longer being able to live independently. She began going to her neighbour and very good friends house at 2 and 3 a.m., looking for her (late) husband. It quickly progressed to her insisting on going looking for him, and the friend, in her late 70's, would end up walking the streets with Mil. She felt (she later told us) that she couldn't do anything else as Mil was usually convinced that she was in Ireland (where she was born) and was so confused and getting lost because of course, she didn't 'recognise' the streets of the small North Wales town where she actually was (and where she had lived for 50 years). The friend didn't tell us about this (she said Mil asked her not to, and bless her, 40 odd years of friendship made it hard for her to go against Mils wishes) but within a couple of months it progressed to Mil also phoning the police to report her husband missing. She called them 3 times at least within the space of a week or so, and it was at that point we found out. It was the final straw for us, the latest in a long line of issues that had us worried sick, so we brought Mil to live with us at that point.

I've read on TP about various alarms you can get, that will alert you or care services if the front door is opened between certain hours. There are, I believe alarms that come with either a recorded message telling the person not to leave the house, or that have some sort of intercom system that lets you (or a care company) speak to the person directly. In Mils case, I don't believe these would have been of much use - they wouldn't have stopped her leaving the house, just let us know that she had. We were only 11 miles away, but by the time we had been alerted and got down to her, she could have covered some distance anyway. And obviously, we had no way of stopping her calling the police, either.

I'm so sorry, because it sounds like you have more than enough on your plate at the moment anyway, but I do think that for your Dad's safety, and your own peace of mind, you are going to have to make some dreadfully hard decisions about your Dad's ability to remain living independently, very soon xxx


Registered User
Aug 1, 2007
My daughter's next door neighbour had dementia and used to knock on her door late at night. This lady was then given the type of alarm that has a recorded message telling her to stay in the house and in her case it worked. She stayed in her house for over a year, with carers 4x day, before she eventually went into 24 hour care.

It really depends on the person, but if you think your dad would respond to this, it would be worth trying.


Registered User
Sep 4, 2011
Thankyou all for your comments. Thankfully, there have been no further incidents for the last two nights, and yesterday, we had a lovely afternoon at dad's doing the "extreme" lawn-mowing and gardening that is required just to keep everything at bay, whilst dad pottered.

Door monitors not an option I'm afraid, dad is an inveterate fiddler, the last time we tried this he dismantled them within 36 hours, and I had to return them to the OT.

Having said that, we will start looking at care homes again, (we did so two years ago), though heaven knows how we will ever get dad to consent, should/when his situation changes, he is such an independent minded man! Probably a subject for future thread. :(