How do I keep Dad safe from himself? - AgingCare.com

How do I keep Dad safe from himself?

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My father has delusions that there are men in the house with guns, or alligators in the house... or well, a lot of different things, trying to "get" him. Last night at 2 am he hobbled out of the house into 18 degree weather and snow he walked around the block (no coat in jammies and shoes) and was knocking on the front door. I have sensors on the doors but I was asleep and didn't hear the backdoor go off. I was livid!! luckily he was not hurt, or did not fall and freeze to death out in the cold. SOOOO HOW do I keep him in and safe without locking everything and keeping him prisoner as some lady put it. I have the lock on the front door that he cannot undo with only one hand, but can I lock the backdoor too? I know its a fine line between safe and hostage (LOL) but I would rather risk him not getting outside in an emergency or run around inside the house safe from the imagined threat than die from falling in freezing weather or wander out to fight the dragon (car) in the roadway. what do I do?

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I forgot to add that a response for anyone faulting us for "keeping them prisoner" needs to be told the prison is dementia and failing cognition, not my house or the senior facility. If they were healthy and of sound mind, we wouldn't NEED to have these concerns or take action to intervene. The other thing I might say is that I pray to God they never have to be caregiver to someone with a failing mind whose body is still pretty able.
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People who have never been through this might fall for the "keeping him prisoner" Bull Manure, but anyone else who has been near dementia won't fault you for putting safety measures in place. You are the adult in this situation now, and you don't need to feel guilty doing what will keep your father safe. It helped my mother to move into a senior apartment on the 2nd floor, from a 4 bedroom home in the country. Her environment is very small, very controlled, and she does not have all those windows with reflections and images freaking her out any more. I don't get calls about bad men hovering outside who can seen through the blinds, or squirrels chasing each other on the mantle. Sometimes she does still have dead relatives come to visit, but visual & auditory hallucinations are different problem than sundowning. Sometimes those hallucinations are from meds, and you should definitely mention these events to the doctor so adjustments or changes can be discussed. E.g. my mom had been double dosing herself on Ativan, which could have killed her, and it was giving her the hallucinations.
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you have to time your napping to his schedule so hes never unsupervised. there probably are meds that can stifle the hallucinations but phsyc medicine is a money racket. he'll be training material for a half a dozen ditzy therapists before he ever sees a prescribing phsyc doc. primary doc can prescribe phsyc meds but they dont really like to. its sure a rough road. siblings oughtta be doing some shifts with you if dad is that dependant, imo..
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You have to do the dead locks and keep the keys on your person at all times.
If he might exit the windows screw the bottom half shut.
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The choice often seems to between safety/the best environment and what makes them "happy". Safety wins hands down. Jessie has a good point about the windows. See if you can find anything to secure them. Consult with his dr. Meds may help too. ((((((hugs))))) for doing what is too often a lonely and thankless task
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Think "2 year old." I have sensors, too, but I put little hook and eye locks on everything. Would he be able to open those?

Why wouldn't you want to hold him prisoner at 2AM? Go for it.
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Thank you Jessie, I wish we could be a family again too... I'm putting child safety locks on all the doors... hopefully that will help!
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It is okay to put locks on both the front and back doors that he would have a hard time reaching. You just have to make sure you can reach them in case of a fire. I hope he doesn't have the desire to go out one of the windows. Some will do that.

My first thought was that there could be some medications that will calm your father at night so both of you can sleep. I imagine the alligators and bad guys are very scary to him. It would be great if the doctors could find a medication that would get rid of those pesky things.

I read your profile. It sounds like your siblings didn't want the task of caring for your father and didn't want you to do it, either. I am glad that you are there for him. I hope that all of you can find some peace with each other on down the road. It is strange how having aging parents can tear siblings apart, instead of bringing them together.
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