Locking the bedroom door?

Janey russ

Registered User
Jan 2, 2014
31
My mother has just come to live with me as her vascular dementia has progressed so that she cannot live alone any more even with the support of carers. She has settled well but we are still struggling with her sun downing through the night. My 14 year old son now has a lock on his door as he does not like Nana visiting him him through the night. Last night we awoke to the smell of smoke and found my mother in the kitchen with towels on fire. We are putting extra locks on the kitchen door before bedtime!

I am happy to put locks on all doors but wonder if the simplest is to put a lock on her bedroom door . I am really torn as I feel there us something not quite right about locking her in at night . What happens in care homes for people with dementia. I know the dementia wings are locked but what about the individual bedrooms! Surely the care staff cannot manage lots of service users wandering all night long.
Would love some opinions or suggestions
 

jaymor

Volunteer Moderator
Jul 14, 2006
12,669
England
My husband is in a nursing home for challenging behaviour with dementia. There is a letter box and a knocker on his door but no lock.

The room can be locked from the inside by the turn of a knob for when privacy is needed for dressing or personal care. It is like a bathroom lock it can be opened from the outside but not locked from the outside.

There are staff on duty all night so no problems with dealing with the residents who do not sleep

There are keypad locks on all doors from each floor so the residents are safe to wander along the corridors and go into the sitting rooms.


It can never be as easy to deal with in a normal home as it is in a purpose built home.

I think locking your Mum's door is not ideal. Lock the kitchen for safety and your bedrooms for privacy and see how that goes.

Jay
 

Beenie

Registered User
Jan 14, 2013
100
Surrey
We have this with uncle, we have locks on our bedroom doors, and a stair gate at the top of the stairs so he can only wander in his room the landing and the bathroom. We got the stair gate from pets at home as the ones for animals are a lot higher than child ones. This has worked really well for us, he does try our doors but just wanders off when he can't open it, the worst he has done since this set up is empty the airing cupboard! Maybe stair gates would be better than locking her in x
 

nitram

Registered User
Apr 6, 2011
19,691
North Manchester
Instead of locking her door why not put something like >>>THIS<<< on it?

This one is probably too loud, you could stick something over the siren to deaden in or find a quieter one.

It would mean you would get woken up and have to investigate. If she was locked in she might try anything, open/smash the window, generally cause havoc.
 

Lady Phoenix

Account Closed
Feb 8, 2014
135
Various
Im not in favour of locking her door. What if there was a problem, such as a fire in the night. What if there was an emergency.

Care homes do not lock people in their rooms at night simply because that would be classed as a form of abuse.

What you also have to remember is that care homes are staffed 24 hours and they are trained to deal with it. You rarely get everyone wandering at night, in fact most people dont wander ever, but in the extreme unlikely scenarion that everyone did wander at the same time then tough, the staff are trained to deal with it and deal with it they will.

You do not have th eluxury of being awake 24 hours and while its fine to lock other peoples doors I would not be happy with locking hers. Someone did suggest an alarm and this is a great idea. You can get pressure pads and lasers that ll do the same job. Could you have a word with an organisation to see if you can get any financial help. Surely also if she is wandering more than a set number fo times you could get a night carer occassionally to help you get some sleep?
 

pippop1

Registered User
Apr 8, 2013
501
Smoke alarms!

You say you awoke to the smell of smoke?

Please install smoke alarms immediately as it should be an alarm that wakes you up and not a smell. That's so dangerous.
 

Dave K

Account Closed
Apr 14, 2014
1,426
57
Barnsley (UK)
Smoke alarms for a home (upstairs and downstairs) are a MUST!

I know they can be annoying every time you burn toast (as mine always did) but I purchased 3 of mine from a well known DIY outlet which ignores "your toast is burning" smoke, unless you actually set fire to your toast / house, that is
 

Tilly Mint

Registered User
Jun 14, 2011
21
Rightly or wrongly I put stair gates up across the door of our kitchen when mum was going in there and just brushing against the cooker knobs was turning the gas on.
She was also taking frozen food out of the freezer and hiding it.

She then worked out how to undo the stair gate so I had to get a lock and chain on it as well.

She sleeps downstairs so the gate was on the kitchen door and another on the stairs to stop her climbing them.

Apart from that I just had to keep the front door locked and she had the run of the living room and hall.

You can get gadgets like pressure pads, door alarms or beams being triggered when someone walks between the two set points.
 
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jaymor

Volunteer Moderator
Jul 14, 2006
12,669
England
Contact the fire brigade and ask if they fit free smoke alarms.

They did an exercise around where I live a couple of years ago and gave out cards to carers association who passed them on. They replaced all mine with theirs which have batteries with a 10 year life and ignore burnt toast.

One of mine did go off once at 4am for no reason. Meant to call the manufacturer. It never got round to it.

Jay
 

dottyd

Registered User
Jan 22, 2011
1,064
n.e.
Stair gates are good. We put one in when we moved mam downstairs. She accepted that she lived on the ground floor in her own home. She had an ensuite wet room and everything she needed downstairs so she never fretted about upstairs.

Surprising really as she could quite easily have wrecked it.

Lock your bedroom doors. That's a better option.

Good luck . In my experience you just find you have dealt with one problem but they are streets ahead and are already on to the next one!
 

sistermillicent

Registered User
Jan 30, 2009
2,949
you've got to do what you've got to do. only you know what works best in your family home.
And by the way, all teenagers should have locks on their bedroom doors, inside. Would have stopped me walking in one sunday and finding my son in bed with his headmistress's daughter.
 

sarahp

Registered User
Feb 23, 2013
110
We have had to put locks on most doors, we have a lock on our bedroom after not getting enough sleep due to mum coming in laughing at us while we sleep lol or one night she sat on my legs twisting my ankle so I woke to a sharp pain! It scared her half to death when I asked her what she was doing! She didn't realise anyone was in the bed I don't think, we have had to lock the airing cupboard on the landing due to mass linen robbery every night. Then we put a lock on the lounge as my stepdaughter sometimes stays in there and also due to the devastation caused by mum, we also have to lock the front door with extra locks now or she is off for a stroll at 3am!! Now instead she hammers on the front door. When I went down to ask her where she was going she says to get to all those people out there. I said there is no people just cars but she insisted there was! At the moment mum has access to her room, stairs landing and kitchen, and bathroom of course now the devestation is caused in the kitchen overnight including numerous jars of coffee mixed with cat biscuits!! Came down this morning looking forward to my cup of coffee to find the jar nearly empty and mixed with caramelised onion, milk and a tin of tomatoes!!! So had tea instead!! I'm now looking at ways to lock kitchen cupboard and the fridge as there is no door on our kitchen. I am diabetic and urgently needed coke the other night but came down and coke had been poorer into a bowl mixed with cheese and other unsaid items!!
 
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sarahp

Registered User
Feb 23, 2013
110
Oh and not to mention the lock on the garden gate to stop mum getting out of there and the key we have chained to the back door so she can't pinch the hundredth one of those although she has managed to snap the key inside the lock this time!! But my other half sees it as his challenge to not let mum get the better of his diy lol :)
 

pippop1

Registered User
Apr 8, 2013
501
Sarahp - I think you'll find simple locks for kitchen cupboards and fridges in shops like Mothercare (for toddlers).
 

FifiMo

Registered User
Feb 10, 2010
4,710
Wiltshire
Under no circumstances would I lock your mother in her room. There is a risk of entrapment and all sorts if there is a fire. Chances are too that if she can't get the door open she will start hollering at the top of her voice!

Stair gates can be used but can also be high risk especially if they are put at the top of the stairs with a risk of concentrating so hard to get it open when eventually they succeed they go headlong down the stairs. Also don't rule out the fact that they will try and climb over them.

You could lock the kitchen door at night or disable the cooker by getting a switch put in. Leave her out a drink and a biscuit in the lounge in case she is thirsty. Look around downstairs for potential hazards - eg trip hazards, gas fire and inability to leave the house etc. then let her get on with her wandering whilst you are locked in your rooms. By all means get smoke alarms and if you want belt and braces in being alerted then you could install a baby alarm so you can hear her on the move.

As to care homes - no locks on doors other than for leaving the unit and yes, the folks move around alll night long. In my mother's place they said it was her home and if she wanted to go on the move then that was her choice. They did keep an eye to make sure that they weren't wandering into other rooms and disturbing folks. Mostly their tactic was to have them sit with the staff and have a cuppa then either persuade them back to bed again or let them sleep in a recliner chair.

Fiona
 

CJinUSA

Registered User
Jan 20, 2014
1,125
eastern USA
Motion detectors, audio monitors, video with audio monitors

Hello. How generous of you to take on the tasks of daily living that you have taken on. In most special care units of care homes, usually a combination of mechanisms is used. There are bars at the door to the exteriors with special warnings on them, and there are monitors all around, both audio and video.

We use three things to simulate that environment, though my mother who was diagnosed with Alz in 2009 is not a wanderer. We use a motion detector with a remote alarm (google those terms and you'll find it) for overnights, and we use an audio monitor just to know what's going on in the room, day and night, and a video monitor whenever we want to see what is going on. All work wonderfully well to make me feel confident about how my mother is doing. You could even set up a webcamera system that would give you remote access (visual intake on a laptop) when you are away from home.

You'll find lots of safety items if you start googling - senior care security, senior care home safety, etc.
 

sarahp

Registered User
Feb 23, 2013
110
Thanks pippop yes I will have a look at those although I don't think the child ones will be suffice because mum doesn't give up easily haha. But might try it as again I found my insulin out of the fridge!

Yeah sorry I didn't say in my comment that no probably locking bedroom is a bad idea but other doors it necessity for us. Our house is one big fire hazard even for us as there's that many locks we would do nothing in a hurry and if we couldn't find keys we've had it!

But the risk has to be assessed and the risk would be far worse mum wandering out in the middle of the night!