Ways to reduce wandering at night when someone lives alone

Jpr

Registered User
Dec 26, 2003
28
berkshire
I'm looking after someone who has started wandering outside the house at night. This person lives alone. At present they do not accept there is a problem and has no 'care package'. The family are too far away to respond in time to a perimeter alarm. We're trying to introduce apporpriate care, but until the person agrees, has anyone found a safe way of detering people from wandering outside - without locking them in (which would obviously be unsafe if there was a fire?)
 

Leah

Registered User
Oct 22, 2004
31
79
Northumberland
Hi,
A couple of tips that may help.... depending how far through the illness they are.

A plain dark door mat.
It seems like a barrier or hole and so, especialy when they are tired, they dont pass over it.

A large note on the inside of the door.
If they are still able to read it can be aimed as a simple reminder that it is not safe to go out alone. Or simply says do not go out.

PS
An alarm on the door may not be a bad idea, my husband used to come back upstairs when he set off our Burglar alarm when entering the hall...... On second thoughts maybe not such a good idea ........as I had to turn ours off for the sake of my sanity and our neighbours sleep, when it started to be a nightly occurence.

Other posters may have better ideas !!!!!
 

Sheila

Registered User
Oct 23, 2003
2,259
West Sussex
Hi JPR, yes a tricky one when they live alone. Leah has some good suggestions there. Really it is time to think about a care package or alternative accomodation that would make the person safe. Wandering is a worry as it can so easily end up with them hurting themselves. Hope you can get it sorted, love She. XX
 

Norman

Registered User
Oct 9, 2003
4,348
Birmingham Hades
JPR
I have been trying to remember where I read about a sensor that could be fitted to a door,any body know? Someone will
Norman
 

Brucie

Registered User
Jan 31, 2004
12,413
near London
I bought four alarms for doors at Homebase recently. Total cost £9.95.

They scare the hell out of me if I forget I have left them on, but they do give warning of the doors being opened.

They can be switched from OFF to chime to wailing noise.
 

Jpr

Registered User
Dec 26, 2003
28
berkshire
thanks for the suggestions and keep them coming. We agree about the care package but it may take some diplomacy to get the client to accept it. TOo much force or speed on our part will certainly result in delays.
 

Sheila

Registered User
Oct 23, 2003
2,259
West Sussex
We had various forms of alarms, only thing in this case is that the person lives alone, I don't see how it would work, the alarm I mean? Love She. XX :confused:
 

Jpr

Registered User
Dec 26, 2003
28
berkshire
wandering

YEah, I suggested door alarms to the family but have images of the confusion they might provoke if a night wander sets them off! Signs seemed like a good idea until family pointed out the client is blind.
 

Sheila

Registered User
Oct 23, 2003
2,259
West Sussex
Hi all, in all sincerity, and hoping you won't think me hard, I have to say... this is a time when 24/7 care is needed now, either by the family or whatever means they decide to choose. If this was a relative or friend of mine, I would be absolutely terrified of all the things that could happen. Love She. XX :eek:
 

Sandy

Registered User
Mar 23, 2005
6,847
Hi All,

I just wanted to echo what Shelia has already said, if this was anyone in my family I would want to make sure that they had on-the-spot assistance 24/7.

As for the night wandering, people with dementia can lose awareness of night and day. If someone was blind, I would imagine the potential for reversal of time would be even greater.

One key question is does this person still have the ability to assess their own situation? If they are wandering, how much insight do they have into their own condition?

Have the family got much outside back-up, such as a care plan from social services?

Take care,

Sandy
 

Jpr

Registered User
Dec 26, 2003
28
berkshire
Catch 22. Family and myself know it's time for 24 hour care but not the one we are trying to support. That's why our current plan is to procede by stealth! - with the help of the neigbour who has been caring we hope to get permission to introduce 'nurses' (well care assisstants really but nurses are currently accepted without too much question) to do what the neighbour currently does and then extend the hours as rapidly as is possible to become full time. Nerve wracking for all but we have no power to move any faster.
 

John

Registered User
Nov 25, 2003
2
London
Door Alarms with a quieter ring

Norman said:
JPR
I have been trying to remember where I read about a sensor that could be fitted to a door,any body know? Someone will
Norman
You may have read about my mum's website - http://www.janet1.freeuk.com. It sells door alarms with a less alarming sound than the ones in Homebase - more like an alarm clock. The other special adaption is that they don't have an "off" switch; they have a key instead. They stop ringing if the door is closed, but there is no way for a wandering person to turn them off in an attempt to be helpful.

Hope this helps
John
 

Norman

Registered User
Oct 9, 2003
4,348
Birmingham Hades
Hi JPR
I am very interested in your idea to bring in care assistants 24x7.
How do you visualize it working?
Live in? Employ several,contract to an agency?
This of course could be ideal for the direct payment scheme.
Norman
 

Jpr

Registered User
Dec 26, 2003
28
berkshire
I'm hoping the biggest problem will be getting this person to accept help. But once we've got over that hurdle the family are hoping to employ someone to live in through an agency. We have a couple of agencies locally who send live in carers for +/_ 2 week stints. over time the same carer often returns (if acceptable to all parties). Cost depends on how much 'care' they give and how often they are woken at night. Social services should have telephone numbers of agencies in your area.

Of course often clients can be resentful / suspicious of such care, and protecting dignity is important or refusal etc is a problem. I know my mother had a 'high degree of suspicion' about any changes, always suspecting they were because she was 'failing' and we were unable to get any support in for my father. (Partly because he refused to 'bend the truth' or avoid volunteering information because no one told them she had dementia until too late in the disease.
 

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