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My grandfather wanders away from home. He is no longer allowed to drive, but he hates it and rebels. The problem is we live in Houston and it isn't safe. We have even used all our resources to get him his own apartment, but he is still not satisfied. I have heard of GPS monitored bracelets, but have no idea how to get one.

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My dad walked out daily and one day even climbed over the gate when we 'fixed' the auto button. It was very difficult to keep him inside. He would also bring strangers with him into the house. We locked doors, taped up auto locks and pretended to have lost the keys.
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I agree with the fact that if he isn't so fond of us GPS Bracelets, there's not much you can do. But that you should still somehow try to convince him as it's easily the best way out. Alerts not only you, but the police as well.
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If someone lives with him, install double key deadbolts. He will be unable to get out the door unless he has a key. My husband was a runner. Those locks reduced my stress a lot!
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Our local police department comes out to the house and connects a local GPS bracelet to his wrist! Inquire at your county govt. Office on Aging. It was FREE and a wonderful tool for finding your loved one. I also have a "Medic Alert" which is a national registry which can be used anywhere in the USA. Make sure what ever bracelet you get has a trick clasp that the person cannot remove. I had one that he threw away. I paid over $100. for it. What a waste. The Medic Alert has the trick clasp and the GPS bracelet is like a plastic hospital bracelet. The police officer comes out once a month and changes the battery in this bracelet. Of course I waited until he got into trouble before I did this. I didn't realize how bad he was until I let it go too long. My husband ended up in the Shock Trauma unit of a far away hospital on Easter Day and I spend all day looking for him. It was horrible and I was alone driving all over the DC area. He did recover from the fall he took, but his Alzheimer's has been progressing faster since the accident. Don't wait!
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Possible Warning on the Implanted tracking devices:
There were reports, fairly early on, of various irritations, cancers, or other health problems caused by the tracking seeds implanted under skin.
This happens with chipped pets, too, not just people.
Some research reported a connection between health problems developing, and the implanted tracking chips / seeds.

VA-POA:
The VA has it's own version of POA's, or Advance Directives. The Clinics or VA Hosp's can provide the forms for people to fill out. There is Legal to help Veterans get paperwork all set up, to satisfy the VA system.

Each Civilian hospital also prefers their own Advance Directives and POA's to be on file, too, is what I was told by many people dealing with it.
It boggled my mind that someone who went to the trouble and expense of hiring legal help to set up their POA's and other necessary documents, that those would potentially be refused by any Docs or Hospitals.
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I think he can no longer live alone gosh if mum starts this its a NH for sure!
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My neighbor told me there is a company that has developed a new type of tracker that can be injected under the skin. The company is in Florida but he didn't remember the name of it.
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My husband has power of attorney but the Veterans Administration doesn't accept it. They told me to contact a veterans organization and they could fill it out for you.
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I am working on aid and attendance through the VA now, but am still a little lost on all the paperwork. We just moved him to an independent care facility with personalized living arrangements. He already seems a lot happier. I am still going to try and locate a GPS unit, since I cannot always be there.
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Is he a veteran? He can get Aid and Attendance from the Veterans Administration to help pay for a caretaker.
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We have found that gates in the doorways help, mom had a life alert but she didn't use it when needed. there are also the knob things for child proofing your house, they can be a pain but it keeps people safe. We use the gate at night and on the ramp to keep mom from wandering when no one is watching and she tries that's for sure to see what she can get away with
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Do you have medical power of attorney? If so, you and your grandfather's doctor should be able to arrange the needed placement.
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Seenypa, your father might have been rubbing cream cheese and then butter on his feet because in his mind he thought the fats and substance of them might ease cracking or dry skin. You might want to check his feet; older folks' feet get really dry and crack if they're not moisturized regularly.
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These devices all sound wonderful.
My dad also wanders and at one point he ended up far from home, so now we keep him inside with 'help'. He goes out when we take him.
He is very resentful and suffers from depression and extremely stubborn, but we do what we can and cant leave him alone. He does the strangest things when left on his own. The other day my sister caught him rubbing cream cheese on his feet and legs, the next night it was the butter.

He needs full time nursing care for his dementia, but refuses to go.
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My girlfriends husband had this. She had to have special locks put on front door to keep him in..He would just open up front door go to park get lost. Also she dropped him off at care facility for 6 hrs for seniors with dementia & Alzheimer. He was doing fine & suddenly he passed from Alzheimer. Great guy..He got around fine seemed in really good health..Truly miss Joe such a horrible disease. Sad my hearts out to the care givers who keep their parent's home..God Bless you.
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also try to find out is there any substitute that interest him so he can stop going out. maybe he feels way to bored or missed his friends
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get a device that tracks whenever he leaves a certain boundary set, you will be notified on phone
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Most states offer a wander/tracking service thru law enforcement agencies. Search to see if Project Lifesaver is offered in your area. They have recently upgraded the service to include a product called the Freedom Watch from a company named LOK8U. They provide a proactive and preventative solution geared towards safeguarding vulnerable adults (and even children) who are an elopement risk. I can attest to the power & capability of the Freedom Watch to both allow for and promote independence while also safeguarding the Wellbeing of a loved one to preventive a bad situation from occurring ( think proactive vs. reactive)
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There are sneakers with built in trackers so your dad wouldn't be aware of it. There are also devices that can be attached to doors that will notify you if door is being opened. Please don't let him alone. My neighbor who had dementia wandered out of his house this winter and froze to death on front lawn. His wife was there but did not hear him. The children had decided that the parents only needed night aide if one parent was alone overnight for some reason.
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Tracking devices are a Great idea for wanderers.
What a Terrific alternate use for those Police Tracking bracelets!!!
For free! YAY! Wonder if that only applies to bigger cities with bigger budgets, or if that would work in smaller communities, or rural areas?

Is it time to put alarms on all the doors? But that is only good if other person is in the house with them to respond to the alarm.
Numerous kinds available. For cheap: simple ones [Radio Shack, I think] have one part on the door jamb and the matching part on the door. When the door opens, it makes noise.
If he's alone, though, the tracking systems are best.

Does he always know where he is, while walking about?
Does he tend to lose his way a bit?
Does he get a confused with anything--location, directions, handling bills, returning books to the library--anything?
Leave stove on, untended? Melted down a pan on the stove?
Left burners going? Spilled grease on stove and left it?
Manage his own bathing, washing, cleaning, dressing?
Drink alcohol or use any other mind-altering substance?
Slowed reactions? Forget to eat? Unable to prepare meals?
Reliable taking medications?
Lie to cover up his errors in judgement or to cover up not doing things?
Answers to those can help choose how, when and what gets done for his protection.

When he becomes unable to manage with regular daily things, or insists on walking in unsafe places, it's likely he's also Unsafe to be home alone anymore, whether he likes that or not---even if he can still argue a good line for why he should still keep his freedom to roam.
But, at some point, it's a matter of safety.
At some point, he will need closer monitoring, and may need to be under someone else's roof for 24/7 supervision--be that family or a facility.

It might be good to limit how much money he can carry or access, too.
Elders carrying too much on them, or wearing expensive clothes or jewelry, are targets.

Mom left gas on on her stove, left an old electric heater running in the bathroom that caused a fire, was unable to clean up after herself, much less an impaired spouse; got confused about some bills, was paranoid, mentally complicated---it literally took her spouse nearly dying, to get them OUT of their place.
It's an on-going process of living under various of her kids' roofs, wearing each of us to a frazzle, endangering us and trashing our homes, as she goes.
At some point, she will need to be in a facility, unless she dies first---meanwhile, she is taking us all down with her, one at a time, at a time in our lives when all of us have impaired health, too.
We each, despite limited resources, and her mental issues, love her dearly, and wanted to help as much as we could.
In retrospect, we should have gotten Mom out of our place far sooner, but couldn't until it was her idea--but by then it was epically damaging to us.

One Gma got a wheeled walker and hired a student from a nearby college, for supervised walks and to do small things around her apartment. That worked well for a couple years. But that failed to prevent someone backing up their SUV and knocking her down---the driver failed to see them. She mostly had her feathers ruffled and some bruises, thankfully.
But it was not long before she was not keeping up with basic things like meals, meds, and getting around her apartment, even though she was still mostly lucid mentally, she needed to move in with family.

Another Gma wandered to the beach in her small town.
She'd collect smooth pebbles to bring home, penciling her thought on them--a word or phrase, trying to keep from losing her thoughts to Alzheimer's.
That was charming, and it provided some exercise and fresh air....
but she could have fallen, drown, been targeted by thugs, got permanently lost, or injured.
She still lived in an apartment on her own, though a couple other people used to come spend a night every so often to keep track of her.
She wandered in the night, too, sometimes.
There were no tracking bracelets then, nor door alarms.
When she started forgetting the way home, then got sick, she ended up in a facility; Uncle let her live alone Far too long, into her developing Alzheimer's--but he wanted to keep her in that apartment, because it was cheaper than a nursing home, and left some of her monthly income for him to spend [he was using her].

Elders terribly determined to keep wandering, can escape from nursing homes. Rules governing restraints are frustrating for those trying to protect troubled persons.
One family, many years ago, thought they had handled the problem of their elder by putting her in a facility. This confused, determined wanderer, after many escape attempts, was finally restrained into a wheelchair, yet managed to wheel herself through heavy double doors, still able to ask a nice young visitor to help her with the doors-- outside, down a long, steep driveway, to wait for the bus that stopped there.
The Bus driver called the facility to ask if she'd escaped.
Staff fetched her back before harm was done, then had to literally tether her, in her chair, to a pole by the nurses' desk, to make sure someone could always keep an eye on her and tend her needs, the whole time she was awake.
There were no tracking bracelets or door alarms then.

Now, most facilities have some sections with door alarms; locked units to prevent wanderers leaving safe territory. If an elder is confused, unsafe, a locked unit might be the safer place for them.

Bottom line:
===Elders need a POA to handle their affairs, and look out after them.
That person needs to be able to take charge; be brave enough to place the elder in proper care at proper time, no matter how angry the elder gets about it.
===Leaving an elder alone in a home or apartment, unsupervised, who has impairments to their mind or body, is a bad idea---they can have more serious glitches at Any time.
It can be tricky to match the level of supervision / help to their constantly changing level of mental/emotional/physical abilities.
===Family should NOT spend "all their own resources" to care for their elder, in ways that impoverish, or threaten to impoverish, the family, or compromise their own health and welfare. Those families need help themselves.
Family in that position, needs to get serious about asking for help for their elder, from outside the family---that might be in-home health care from State, or a facility, or an extended group of friends and family.
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Also, you can look into senior programs in your area -- if he is relatively healthy and only has minor dementia. That would keep him involved during the day. They can pick him up and take him home with a van-service. Check with your local township to see what is being offered.
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Can you check him into an "adult-day-care" for seniors during the day?

There are varied rehab programs that may accept seniors for limited hours during the day, but then they can go home at nite to be with their families. In Princeton, there is a 'Memory-Care" facility on Washington Rd in Princeton Junction area.
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Persons with dementia should not be living alone. And persons with dementia who wander? OMG -- no living alone! And even living with supervision requires some special precautions, as others have posted.

What is your role in his life? Loving grandchild, yes. But are you a caregiver? Do you have Power of Attorney? Do you live next door? A little more detail about the situation might get more specific responses to what you can do to keep him safe.

Best wishes to your whole family.
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JLS says: "We have even used all our resources to get him his own apartment, but he is still not satisfied." So, clearly even getting him to accept that level of safety involved moving mountains. I agree, he shouldn't be living alone; but it looks as if persuading him of that might be the tricky bit. JLS is that correct?
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You have to do (or his children need to) what is necessary to keep him safe. It seems like every week here in Tucson, someone wanders away and dies. I know that you have the same kind of heat that we do.

If you are the voice of reason, implore his POA to find him a safe nursing home.
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Lots of good suggestions here, but the biggest thing is he shouldn't be living alone. He should be with someone - family, assisted living - someone or some place that has alarms on the door because even with a monitor that will help to find them, they are out wandering around for a while before they are found and can get out in traffic.
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I didn't see an answer regarding whether he lives alone. It's important to understand the living situation to help identify a solution. If he lives alone, then everything is an "after the fact" solution. GPS is not 100% accurate and he may already be hurt when found - if found. Also, if he is living alone, there are many other safety concerns - fires, falls, medications, etc.
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My local Police Dept got me a GPS bracelet for free. They came out and put it on my husband. They come every month and change the batteries and they can find him fast if he goes out of the house. If you go on vacation you have to contact the police there and give them the code. I also got him a Medic Alert bracelet which puts him on a national registry. They have all his personal info and his medical needs in the history. On Easter day this year he wandered out of church and was running down a major highway to find me. The police saw him fall and go down. Luckily no car hit him. He was helicoptered to a shock trauma unit two hours away. I spent all day looking for him. That is why we have all these precautions now. Eventually he will have to go in a nursing home. But he still knows me now and I don't want him to be in a home if I can take care of him by myself. I will do it as long as I can. He is, after all, my honey, and I took my wedding vows very seriously. "Till death do we part!" We have been married for 35 years. It was a second marriage for both of us. And he has taken such good care of me for as long as he could. Now it is my turn to do the same.
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All the tracking devices are probably fine but if he doesn't want to use them, I doubt if it will help. I think the only thing that works at a certain stage is having someone with him or supervision. Easier said than done but it may be what's needed. I would see if he is eligible for home health aide or companion services.
Perhaps enroll him in senior programs, or adult day care facilities.
Try to keep him active. He seems to have lots of energy.
Good luck.
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Our local POLICE DEPT. has tracking devices that you can get for $250. If the person wanders off, you call police and they can track them. It's something new. They come to your home and talk with the dementia person and reassure them. We live in Florida.
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