Tracking devices in a CH

nessy22

Registered User
Nov 22, 2014
42
Dear Talking Point.
My Mum (85) is in a small CH since early Jan, after month in hospital. Before that she was living at home, refusing carers. Because she refused help from everyone, including me, she probably ended up in CH maybe 6 months or so little too early :(. She has middle stage alzheimer's and physically fit.
Mum loves walking and getting out such as walking into town. All her life, when she was 'bored', she always went out which made her feel better. This was more important after my Dad died and she was on her own.

In the CH, she is getting out for a small accompanied walk every day or two when staff are available. Now that weather is good the residents can sit outside in small garden Mum wants even more to go out walking on her own. I think that she will not get lost in local vicinity during the daytime. It seems such a shame to 'keep her in' when she is probably still capable just for this summer perhaps. But it is a difficult one because CH want to make sure she is safe and that means watching her 24/24 plus she could hop on a bus etc. On the other hand, Mum is so much better company and happier when she gets a good daily walk. It is really good therapy for her.

I wondered if anyone had experience of using tracking devices for CH residents or any other experiences with these devices. This was suggested few months ago by Community MH nurse so would be managed by local authority. No experience of these in Mum's CH so I was wondering if there were any examples out there or any other ideas.
 

Tin

Registered User
May 18, 2014
4,825
UK
I have no experience of tracking devices, especially in a care home environment, but the safety concern would still be there for staff. Would it not be best to consider paying someone to go visit and take your mum out for a walk around town each day?
 

Canadian Joanne

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 8, 2005
16,231
65
Toronto, Canada
I like Tin's suggestion. With a companion, your mother would be safe, have the benefit of company and also not get agitated should she not recognize where she is.

I would not assume that she would not get lost. If it is a new place for her, I feel she would more likely get lost than not. With the tracking device, you would be able to locate her but how would she be feeling? Scared, frightened, agitated? Or she could be walking with someone having a nice chat.
 

nessy22

Registered User
Nov 22, 2014
42
Thanks Tin and Joanne, your replies were really helpful. I was not at all sure about this tracking device and your replies confirmed my thoughts. I will try and find someone who could take her out either every day, or the days where no-one visits or the CH can't find a carer who can do this. Luckily they are supportive because they know it helps Mum settle for the rest of the day. Best regards. Nessy
 

dora

Registered User
Aug 1, 2007
145
England
Hi Nessy

I would suggest you contact Crossroads. This is just the sort of thing their volunteers can do, and there is no charge.
 

Plum1108

Registered User
Nov 20, 2009
26
Hi
We have same issue with my mum, to the extent that she got aggressive when staff told her she couldn't go out. Now, the home has realised that she is much better when she has been out for a walk, so whenever staff pop out for something they take mum with them, often just round the corner to the chemist or something but it helps a lot. we also arranged for her to go to a day club once a week, so that she sees different people and does different activities.
Hope you manage to sort something out.
Plum x
 

Witzend

Registered User
Aug 29, 2007
4,291
SW London
Hi
We have same issue with my mum, to the extent that she got aggressive when staff told her she couldn't go out. Now, the home has realised that she is much better when she has been out for a walk, so whenever staff pop out for something they take mum with them, often just round the corner to the chemist or something but it helps a lot. we also arranged for her to go to a day club once a week, so that she sees different people and does different activities.
Hope you manage to sort something out.
Plum x
Fantastic if you can get CH staff to do this. We had same problem with FIL, still very active and very agitated, like a caged wild animal if shut in. The CH did let him out on his own but this was some time ago and I can't help thinking 'health and safety' would prevent that now. However he never came to any harm. The owner/manager's husband was fantastic with him - would take him with him to the cash and carry, etc. to help, and he was still fit enough for quite a while to help with lugging cartons about. I will always be so grateful to that CH - they were so good with him when we were almost in despair of finding anywhere suitable for him.
 

Canadian Joanne

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 8, 2005
16,231
65
Toronto, Canada
The owner/manager's husband was fantastic with him - would take him with him to the cash and carry, etc. to help, and he was still fit enough for quite a while to help with lugging cartons about. I will always be so grateful to that CH - they were so good with him when we were almost in despair of finding anywhere suitable for him.
What a fantastic place - that's what I call thinking out of the box. They made your FIL feel useful and needed. This is a need that I think is very much real and important to those with dementia. I know my reaction was to try and coddle Mum, tell her just to relax but in hindsight I wish I had accepted her offers.