The forum is filled with people coming together to share valuable information. We’ve compiled experienced caregivers’ recommendations for the best products and strategies for monitoring a loved one who wanders.

Alarms and Alert Devices

“Since my mom really needed to have someone with her and that wasn’t always possible, I put a sensor pad on her bed and chair so that I would know when she got up. When the alarm went off, she did not hear it, but I could. If you go online and type in ‘bed alarms,’ it will lead you to different companies and products. A gate was not the answer for us, since she could fall or get caught up in it and hurt herself.” –Meiling

“I know of a self-installed door alarm that would wake the dead. We had to get these because we have a pool, which required extra safety measures. They are quite annoying and $100 each, but they are worth it.” –Chicago1954

“When I was young, my brother was prone to sleep walking. My parents set up a system that, when he opened his bedroom door, a light switch flipped on to alert them that the door was open. Also, I was recently in the hospital and the beds have alarms on them. I didn’t know about this until I got up to go to the restroom and set it off accidentally. You might be able to find a similar system at a place that sells medical equipment.” –2busy4me

“I installed a micro switch on the front door that rings the existing doorbell. I don’t care if Mom goes outside, but I want to be aware she’s out so I can keep an eye on her. Micro switches are cheap. Memory care facilities and nursing homes can only lock elders in because they have an evacuation plan and the manpower to implement it. Besides, most have alarmed emergency exits that aren’t locked up.” –Capnhardass

“There are door alarms for interior doors that are easy to install. They stick on each side of the door, and, when the connection is opened (when the door is opened), the alarm goes off. It is very loud. Place it high up on the door so they can’t reach it. A baby monitor can also help you keep tabs on what is going on in a different area of the house.” –Nowmymomsmom

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“One thing I’ve found useful is a travel alarm ($10-$15) that’s intended for your hotel room door. It works great as a front door alarm, as my bedroom is close enough for it to alert me. You’ll also see the doorstop-style alarms. We thought about that style, but figured Mom is smart enough to just kick it aside. The model that we chose takes a little dexterity to work it.” –Abc1234567890

“In a rehabilitation facility, I saw an alarm system that clipped to a patient’s clothes on one side and to the wheelchair on the other. It was loose, so it did not restrain the patient in any way. If the patient stood up or fell out of the chair, the 2 pieces separated and had a VERY loud alarm. You could use something like this on a bedpost and your loved one’s clothes.” –Ismiami

Read: Wandering Top Tips: How to Minimize Agitation and Restlessness