How, when, and where do you lock things up?

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If you have to lock things away from your carepartner (ailing mom, dad, spouse, sister, etc) or from paid caretakers, where do you put it and what kind of lock do you use? Who has access? What event made you decide it was time to go into lockdown?

I'm particularly interested in how you lock up food.

I think I need to lock up the meds and am having trouble enforcing a healthy diet when I'm not around.

I've seen some fairly expensive pill minders that lock, so you can only take a dose at the appropriate time. I don't think we need to go that far (yet) but I do need to keep the "as needed" drugs and my own prescriptions out of reach. Sometime my husband decides he needs an as-needed pill and starts rummaging around for something suitable. When a short-term prescription runs out, he looks for more. His meds and mine are in different places in the same cabinet, but he no longer recognized the difference. I noticed before he actually took one of my antibiotics when his ran out, but it was close.

It's one thing to quit buying obviously unhealthy foods, but even stroke survivors and their caregivers need a treat now and then. Plus, some things that are healthy in small quantity aren't so good if eaten all the time. It's OK to use an Ensure nutrition drink to take his morning pills (the texture makes it easier to swallow them), but Ensure is too fatty, sweet, and fiber-free to drink all day long whenever you're hungry or bored. He has teeth--he can eat real food now and then.

Our paid caregiver has never stolen anything but we'll soon be needing more than one paid worker a day and will have to go through a service. When my in-laws needed in-home care, things disappeared fairly regularly but of course with many people in and out every day, you can't say where the stuff went. (I do know my in-laws didn't go out and hock their own jewelry; MIL was mostly immobile in an alternate universe from a brain tumor and FIL never went out except for milk shakes at McDonald's.)

So what do you lock up, where do you keep it, how do you keep it secure, and who has access?

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Could you put a locking file cabinet in your office? You could put meds in a drawer and paperwork, jewelry, non perishable food etc. in the others. That way you could leave the office unlocked for easier access to the office supplies.
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Today I realized I need to get rid of liquid soap n the bathroom, it was used as facial moisturizer. Mom has some nice moisturizer in a jar that she doesn't use, maybe I need to find one in a pump bottle. LOL!!
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I guess I need to put a lock on our office door to keep our financial papers safe. I can put meds and other valuables in there too, I guess. It really bothers me to lock my husband out of parts of his own home. I can understand doing it for safety reasons, but he'll end up locked out of our office. Even I will be locked out of the office; I'm used to being able to walk around my house at will. I hate the idea of unlocking a door to use the stapler or pick out a book; the office supplies and bookshelves are in there. The gift wrap is in there too. And the copier/scanner/fax machine that I had to buy after he got sick.

I'm already freaking out about the idea of inviting a never-ending stream of strangers into my house. I'm having trouble accepting all these changes in my home & life. Strangers, locks, rationing sodas and Ensure. I don't like the idea of not receiving paper statements for financial stuff. I currently do paper statements because I need a physical reminder to prompt me to do things. All this stress has impaired my own memory :-(

Thanks for reminding me to take pictures of the stuff in our house. Insurance companies recommend that everyone do that anyway. I did it at my dad's but not my own.

I've already had to create a separate account on our computer for our current caregiver, so she can use it without accessing our private stuff. She searches online for me, looks up phone numbers, and makes calls for us before I get up in the morning. I keep forgetting to log myself out so she can use it without waking me up, but I'm getting better at it.

I hope someone out there can talk about keeping one member of a household from eating things they shouldn't, without cutting everyone else off too. Please don't tell me I need to put a fridge behind the locked office door. Life is awful enough as it is.
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I never had to address hiding food or meds.
I did address clearing the house before letting in the herds of strangers in to help: bather, nurses, cna,etc,, I was grateful for the in home help, but my biggest concern was ID fraud. I cleansed the house of all papers from bank accounts, old tax returns. Etc.. Mom had a mess...piles of papers all around. Created a big accordion file and took to my place, or you can hide it. Put away your mail as soon as you receive it. You may consider online statements.
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You can purchase a small safe from Wal-Mart for as low as $49.00 to lock up meds and jewelry. Any larger valuables you might want to put in storage. You can also install cameras in the house to monitor caregivers. You could possibly use one bedroom that is not being used to store valuables and change the door set up with a pad lock. With the cameras installed you would have evidence of someone cutting the lock and stealing anything. You can do background searches on the people who come into the home as a caregiver. This was the same concern my sister and I had with our mother who has Alz. We thought about photographing or videoing front and back of all valuables too. We finally decided it was not what we wanted to do and since mom has a LTC policy we placed her in memory care. While I understand this is not solution for everyone due to financial or other reasons, it has worked for us. We are still very hands on with mom's care, taking her to all dr. appts., taking her out clothes shopping, lunch and dinners, holidays and visiting 2-3 times a week.

Having caregivers in your parents home who can give medicine is something you would need to check out with the different services who provide that care especially if you or another trusted relative is not there in the home at all times. Because my sister and I both have to work, we made our choice and it is working out great for mom and us. I hope this helps you to make some decisions and I am sure others will respond too. Hugs to you!!
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