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We have the door locked and know that is not a great solution, and are looking for a permanent solution. A few times when the door has been unlocked my dad has slipped out and we've found him wandering the neighborhood, on his way somewhere although he's not sure where. Once it was in the middle of the night and the police found him. My mom is hard of hearing and may not always hear the typical door alarms designed for Alzheimer/dementia patients, so we are trying to find out what others in this sort of situation have done. I feel like it can't be that unusual. Note there are others that live at home and would hear an audible alarm. but we need to find something for my mother since she is the primary caregiver. Thanks so much in advance.

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I was recently in the hospital and the beds have alarms on them. I didn't know till I got up to go to the restroom and set it off.......the nurses all came running. You might be able to find some kind of system like that a place that sells medical equipment.
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Thank you all so much for the very helpful advice! We've gotten him the MedicAlert + Alzheimer's Association Safe Return (which includes a bracelet for my mom that indicates she is a caregiver - really great idea) and have ordered a door alarm that has a wireless component that will vibrate. We'll see how it goes, and will be looking into some of these other tips as well. Thanks again, really, really appreciate it.
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Dear Armywife, my wife is with Alz grade II , and always liked to walk and wander.. She is more quiet now, but still goes out, and I am more and more worry. What you describe about the devices with GPS sounds interesting to my case, and perhaps will solve some problems somehow. Would you be so kind to let me know places or brands?
A hug and thanks
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I feel for your Mom, it was a tough year for us when my Mom went through her wandering and agressive stages. I had bells hanging on the side of her bed and hanging from the ceiling with chains on top of the doors. She pulled hard on them yelling at me, whoa my little sweetheart turned into someone I didnt know.
Once she was pulling hard on the doors and screaming at me, I took her to the neurologist put her on depakote sprinkles 3x daily. It made her sleep alot the first month and then she was okay once her body adjusted. We cut her door in half and locked the bottom half on the outside. ( like a Mr Ed door if you remember that show) She got up and leaned her arms on the door yelling "hi" and then played with things in her bureau and closet so I had to really limit what was in there. She even tried going out a window so beware. I bought those clear window covers that you put on with a hair dryer to cover the windows, about $7 at walmart. You can jam a piece of wood from top of window to top of casing also so it wont go up. One more thing we did it buy a keypad doorknob that goes down to the basement. We have to put in 2 numbers to get the door to open. The on line site I used is called go keyless. Those are about $100 but so worth every penny, just put them on backwards instead of the keypad on the outside.Now that we have grandchildren its all even better, lol. I wish I didnt go through an entire year before I took her to the neurologist but I made it. It does pass, its just a stage so hang in there. You dont want him getting out, they dont care if its dark or not they can go out and get lost of hit by a car. Best of luck to you. Just remember they dont mean it, its the disease. :0)
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I agree with above.But, for us I have deadbolt locks on exterior doors with key locks inside & outside . I just remove key when I don't want door opened.
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Get your father a silver alert bracelet. My local police department uses a silver alert program to help identify wandering seniors.

Check with the police and they will have you fill out information on your Dad. They will send you the bracelet with a special ID number on the bracelet that the police can use to identify him and contact you.
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Actually I saw something interesting at mom's nursing home. They use a device that they place say like on the inside shoulder and then there is a part that is magnetic that shows on the outside looks like a white circle. What it is is an alarm system. When the patient reaches a certain point the alarm sounds long before they even step outside. There are mats that are placed in front of the door like a regular door mat on the inside or outside and it will trigger an alarm which is great for nighttime wanderers. They are now making monitors with GPS as well so if they do manage to get outside of the home or facility, they will be found via satellite and then whomever that handles those situations can use the coordinates to come get the person who has wandered. There are some really new products for people trying to take care of their elders or children for that matter.I am not backing any of their products as I have not had any chance to use any of them. I am just giving you ideas that you can think about to see what would work best for your situation. I am actually glad that mom died before she got "that bad" to where I had to worry about her going out of the house. I recall how bad my step-father was and he was in a VA hospital during the middle 1980s. I remember how the nurses and staff in general would get so worked up when the patients were not in their beds when they were supposed to be. We did not have many of these devices back then. So I am very happy that caregivers now are better equipped to keep an eye on their patients even during sleeping hours. Should you decide to purchase a product like one of the ones on this site or wherever (You could even try Alick's Home Medical online.) Please let us know how well you like it and how well it works for you.
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I agree with the other posts. An alarm of some type would be best. Either a professionally installed alarm or one from a hardware store that you install yourself to the exterior doors. Good Luck!
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I agree with the other posts. An alarm of some type would be best. Either a professionally installed alarm or one from a hardware store that you install yourself to the exterior doors. Good Luck!
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I know of a self installed door alarm that would wake the dead. We had to get them, because we have a pool and it was required. They are quite annoying and are $100.00 each, but would be worth it.
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Cajean, you mentioned meds as an option. Has anyone had success with this? My mom, 92, has dementia and wanders the house at night she chipped her hip December 30 from a midnight fall at my sister's home. Tonight, we're going to try using a baby gate to keep her corralled in the master suite, where she has access to the potty and water. (My husband and I have moved upstairs.) If the gate upsets her, we may want to try a mild sedative.
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We used a baby monitor! You can place two transmitters around the house (near doors) and she will be able to hear whatever he's up to. We also put extra door locks high up where mom couldn't unlock them. Some meds help with wandering, if he can stand the side effects. Best of luck to you ! ♥
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We had the same issue and self-installed a system from simplisafe. It is great, easy, and does the trick. I wish you well. This is a hard time for us all...
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When I was young, my brother was prone to sleep walking. My parents set up a system that when he opened the door, it flipped the light switch on to alert them that the door was open. That might help.
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Child locks and alarms work well and are reasonably priced. Also, try installing a lock at the bottom of the door or at the top. Your dad may not think to look in those places to unlock the door.
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