Any suggestions to keep senior safe when a stranger/bogus caller knocks on door? - AgingCare.com

Any suggestions to keep senior safe when a stranger/bogus caller knocks on door?

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A chain was used but it is often forgotten to be unlocked and key holders then have aprob accessing the home, especially in mornings (she is still in bed).

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I don't have any suggestions about keeping your mom from opening the door, but I recently watched something that suggested putting a big BEWARE OF DOG sign out - it keeps unwelcomed people away.
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Scary. Our parents often do not understand or have forgotten the harsher realities of our time. Locking them in creates its own hazards, and increases their seclusion. Since you are not likely to stop her from answering the door to the world, one thing you can do is make sure she has something - anything! - to ward off an attack. I like wasp spray with a trigger - not a nozzle. The kind that shoots a heavy stream 20 feet. Not a perfect solution, but better than nothing.

No matter what you do, expensive alarm systems, video monitoring of the front door, speaker boxes, what have you, those with evil intent can simply resort to social engineering, and our trusting parents think it really IS the gas man checking for leaks, and let him in.
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LOL - we have 2 dogs, and as soon as either one of them makes a peep, my Mom yells at them to be quiet (she makes more noise yelling at them than they make barking) & puts them in their cage when we're not home. She can not STAND the dogs and makes sure everyone knows it. I've told her the dogs are only doing their job & she will be grateful for them one day. Sure enough, we had a neighborhood teen break into our backyard one morning (broad daylight, no less) when we weren't home and where were my dogs? Yep - inside getting yelled at by my mom to be quiet! Luckily our neighbor chased the kid off, but he later asked us why our dogs weren't outside barking. That was an awkward conversation....
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We have a HUGE dog! She is quite the alarm system and most people do not mess with that. He still opens the door and tells anyone where we are and then either forgets to tell us or does not remember who they were. And then there was the time he let his grandson in to wait for us. Problem was grandson had just gotten out of jail! Not someone we needed as a house guest. I think a real dog is helpful as is a "DOG" sign and perhaps a dog recording, but ultimately it's all about not opening the door, sigh! Glad I have good insurance...
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My son would only have to blow up a picture of a SPIDER and tape it to the front door to keep me from opening it.! He'd have no problem keeping me away from that door right NOW, let alone when/if I were to lose my marbles someday. ha
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"She welcomed everyone and got very energetic when anyone came around to visit, she mostly loved chatting with handsome men..."
Soozi, your mom seems like she was a smart and sassy lady! Cheers!
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I understand about the locking of doors,
but there should be an alarm that unlocks doors,
in a fire, I do not believe there will be enough time.

Elderly people may be lonely, but opening a door to strangers,
is something that dementia people (like a reflex or jerk knee response) do because they are not sure and suddenly "do not" want to make a mistake.
Ours went from being leary of to hyper mode (O.C.D) to answer the door, this behavior went hand in hand, with answering the phone. She could not eat or stay asleep if someone called because she thought it was an emergency or would get it wrong. Sales people required me to come down, because once she answered the phone, she did not know what to do or say.
Her children used to try monitoring her dementia by phone, but because I was the upstairs neighbor, I was not allowed to shut off her phone, but I always wanted to.
She does live by me now, in a new apartment, where she has no desire to open the door or answer the phone.
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That is a good idea about the answering machine, not ringing but still able to get the message if needed. So, what do we do about outgoing calls, parent would need to be able to access in an emergency, even if it was to call on your behalf? I have the deadbolt inside and outside lock, she can't be left alone ever in the house by herself so I guess we don't have to really concern ourselves about her trying to get out in an emergency, unless of course if the emergency was us.
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We do all of our care giving at home and have a deadbolt on the door that requires a key to unlock from inside or out. We keep it locked and keep the spare key in a locked security box while keeping the other key on one of us. We also keep the answering machine to "Do Not Disturb". This way, people can leave a message but no one we are caring for would be able to know it was ringing and answer and give out info.
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Elderly living alone are lonely. They will open the door to talk to whoever is on the other side. I don't think any series of locks with help because they will find a way to unlock them. I wouldn't attribute this characteristic to dementia but just loneliness if they live alone. They have lived in a country which had much lower crime rates than we have now, so they tend not to be fearful of strangers.

Elizabeth
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