Mum went out without her keys

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by betsie, Feb 12, 2015.

  1. betsie

    betsie Registered User

    Jun 11, 2012
    My door bell went at 9.15 pm tonight, someone who lives near my mum had driven her up and down my road ( I live a few roads away from her) until she recognised my house.

    She had taken the dog out but forgotten her key or lost it on her travels ( it is on a lanyard round her neck normally). When she got home she went into panic mode when she realised she had no key. We have a spare one with a local newsagents a few doors away but he had closed at 7pm.
    She had knocked at someone else's house asking for help but they said they couldn't help her ! ( she was in such a panic ahe forgot how to get to my house).
    I think she must have been out for a few hours. Is there anything I can do to avoid this happening again?
    I will put a big note on the door saying "keys". I have emailed the local police to see if they keep a register of people who may get lost. Only other thing I could think of was to put small cards in all her coat pockets with my details on.
    I hate this disease I have been through this once with my dad ( had police helicopters out twice). My mum is very fit for an 85 year old and loves to walk - she isn't wandering as such as she knew her way home but I can see that coming next.
  2. Lindy50

    Lindy50 Registered User

    Dec 11, 2013
    Hi betsie :)
    What a worrying evening you and your mum have had! Would it help, I wonder, to have a key safe fitted on an outside wall? You programme this with a (usually) 4 digit code and keep a spare key inside. Trouble is, someone has to remember the code!
    And put the key back after use.....Might help in an emergency though

    All the best

    Lindy xx
  3. opaline

    opaline Registered User

    Nov 13, 2014
    You can also get a key 'rock' which looks like a stone but has a key inside, not ideal, though. If she does start getting lost there are trackers available, if she would remember to wear it . . .x

    MERENAME Registered User

    Jun 4, 2013
    Does she wear the same coat when she goes out ? If so could you sew a ribbon in the pocket with a spare key on it. I had to do this with my son when he lived with me as I got so fed up with him losing his key!
  5. betsie

    betsie Registered User

    Jun 11, 2012
    She wears 2 or 3 different coats when she goes out - she has about 15 different ones (she loves a coat). Might sew one into her most popular 3.

    Still don't know why she went out so late but she had been complaining of a headache all day, she does seem to get these ( every 4 or 5 months) then go down hill a little bit afterwards.

    I do actually think she look the keys with her and dropped them because I have looked through the house and can't find them anywhere ( they might be with the fall alarm necklace that has also disappeared).

    I have put a big note on the door and put notes in her coat pockets with " if you need help call ...." And my details.
    Ordered a new fall alarm ( she had taken it off when she went too my sisters at the weekend and has put it somewhere so safe we can't find it) as I thought she could press that at the front door if she was locked out and they would call me when she didn't respond.
    Poor thing is very stressed today she keeps looking for the keys and can't settle. I am going to take her out this afternoon and get some more cut and take her for tea and cake to cheer her up. I think the fact she couldn't remember where I lived has upset her the most.
    Thank god there are still some nice people about, still can't quite believe the church lady who told her she couldn't help and shut the door.
  6. RobinH

    RobinH Registered User

    Apr 9, 2012

    I think the Key Safe is a great idea. Also spare keys with trusted neighbours? I'd also try to get something in her purse that has ICE (In Case of Emergency) written on it, and your contact details - if Police etc find her they will look for something like that. I'd also be inclined to visit the local Police (don't rely on email, they may never look at them..) and tell them about your mum. Use the term Vulnerable Adult, that should wake them up.

    All the best

  7. cerridwen

    cerridwen Registered User

    Dec 29, 2012
    Good idea to get a key safe. Dad is always losing his keys (he lives alone) and now the various day centres he attends and his carers who visit him three times a day have the combination to the key safe and he can always get back in. Also, if your Dad has a trusted neighbour who you know personally, you could given them the combination to the key safe, but obviously be careful.
    Dad has a card in his wallet with his name, address and my contact details should he get lost or not have my details to hand and he is locked out.
  8. Pickles53

    Pickles53 Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    Radcliffe on Trent
    Mum had a key safe and it was really useful. Do check that the model you buy is police- and insurance company-approved as it needs to be really secure. Ours was recommended by the local Carelink organisation who ran the emergency pendant system and they also organised the installation as this could only be done by a qualified individual.
  9. Tin

    Tin Registered User

    May 18, 2014
    Does the dog have a collar? could you get your number engraved on a disc? It might take someone a bit of time to notice, but it could work.
  10. betsie

    betsie Registered User

    Jun 11, 2012
    Thanks for all your suggestions. Will do the dog collar disc - great idea. Got 3 new keys done today, attached one to the inside of the coat she wears most often, one on a lanyard and one in a zip pocket inside her handbag.
    The police did email back and have put my details with her address and sent her info and description to the local Pco's.
    Fingers crossed till the next crisis - unfortunately that is one of the joys of Alzheimer's you always know there will be something else to send the stress levels soaring.

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