problem with mum leaving door open

Paul_K

Registered User
Jun 30, 2004
11
Slough
My mum's at home on her own for two hours each weekday between me leaving for work, and the day centre bus picking her up. The trouble is she insists on opening the front door and watching down the road for the whole time - she will not sit and watch TV or read a book until they arrive.

I've recently fitted a small door alarm to try and encourage her to shut the door, but it doesn't help. She just sets it off and ignores it (it resets after a while anyway so isn't perfect) or gets a neighbour to turn it off.

I was wondering about a door closer - one of those spring loaded things that fits to the top of the door. That would close the door, but I don't know if she's savvy enough to wedge it open with a chair.

Any other suggestions?
 

Norman

Registered User
Oct 9, 2003
4,348
Birmingham Hades
Paul
I have this problem with my wife,she opens the front door and examines the road in detail,then leaves the door open.
She also leaves cupboard doors open.
I don't think there is any answer to it (unless someone tells me more).
We have to remember that one of the problems with AD is the loss of the ability to learn new ideas and accept changes
godd luck
Norman
 

Brucie

Registered User
Jan 31, 2004
12,413
near London
Hi Paul

the idea of a door closer seems attractive at first sight, but it might close, but with your Mum outside . That could unleash a whole lot of additional and possibly worse problems.

I tend to agree with Norman - I don't think there is an easy answer to the problem, other than there being someone with her whenever she is at home.

Reading a book or watching TV may not be something your Mum can do easily now, by the way.

Once the ability to comprehend a page of text has gone [my wife would move from the top to the bottom and back of the first paragraph of a page for hours, trying to make sense of it], or the ability to just sit and watch TV [I just gave up and left it off] - well, those are no longer options for keeping their attention. In fact, it just draws to their attention that they have a major problem.

If you do come up with a solution, please let us know!
 

Paul_K

Registered User
Jun 30, 2004
11
Slough
She does still read, although maybe not absorbing it 100%. She's got a pile of books by her chair, and often asks for a Peoples Friend mag when we go round the shop.

IKWYM about the door closing if/when she's outside, and it is an issue, but so is the door being left open.

Another idea I had was to install a webcam in the hall, that I can monitor from work. Then if she leaves the door open I can phone and ask her to shut it! There's a slight flaw in that one though, as she sometimes leaves the phone off the hook.

I think what I need is a door closer with an internet connection, that I can close from my PC at work...
 

Brucie

Registered User
Jan 31, 2004
12,413
near London
Yes, a shame that technology can't help because you could take it a further step and have Scotty beam you there to close the door. ;)

On a serious note, it is a most difficult situation, and one that causes the carer a great deal of worry.

I hope you can find an acceptable solution.
 

Jude

Registered User
Dec 11, 2003
2,287
66
Tully, Qld, Australia
Dear Paul,

This might be a compromise that's workable. You could have an aluminium screen door with an automatic closing device installed. That way, your mother will be safe but still able to see outside. She also wouldn't accidentally lock herself out if she went outside.

I have the opposite problem with my mother - every time I open windows and doors, she trots around behind me and closes them all, which drives me crackers.

Would you like to swap?

Jude
 

Paul_K

Registered User
Jun 30, 2004
11
Slough
I'm not quite sure what you're trying to describe there, Jude. Do you mean a mesh thing like they have in the states for keeping out the bugs?
 

Jude

Registered User
Dec 11, 2003
2,287
66
Tully, Qld, Australia
Dear Paul,

That's exactly what I mean. They are fitted as a matter of course to every house in Oz, in order to allow the breeze in and keep the mozzies out. They come in standard door frame sizes [as swing doors or sliding doors] and installation is really easy. You can also lock the door from inside or outside the house - with a key as well as a small clip lock. I'm sure there would be a supplier here in the UK if you thought that it might help.

Jude
 

Paul_K

Registered User
Jun 30, 2004
11
Slough
I think that maybe I'll get a front door with a clear glass window in it. The issue seems to be the ability to look down the road. She used to sit in the front room and wait, but it's since I've put net curtains up (for security/privacy reasons) that she's started opening the door instead.

New door, clear glass, bit of net that she can hold back. That should do it I think. :)
 

Norman

Registered User
Oct 9, 2003
4,348
Birmingham Hades
Paul
I think your new door might work,but I am not too sure about the nets!
They caused a problem before and anything unfamiliar can cause problems.
Is mum safe to go up and down stairs? Could you find her a look out position in a front upstairs room (no nets).
We had an old neighbour who kept watch from her front upstairs room she was 91.
Hope you find an answer
good luck
Norman
 

Brucie

Registered User
Jan 31, 2004
12,413
near London
I'm sure you will have thought of all angles, but...

...do be sure that you have some stickies on the glass so your Mum sees that it IS glass and thus doesn't put her head through it, or try to walk through it.

You don't have to be anything other than normal to do that - I walked into a window at my office some months back and the pain lasted for 3-4 months....
 

Paul_K

Registered User
Jun 30, 2004
11
Slough
I'm now thinking that I can replace the centre pane of the existing door with clear glass, which may be the cheaper option (depending on the price of the glass).

Then I'll just put a small bit of net on the back of the door so no-one can see in, but it can easily be pulled back.