Looking for advice to keep mom safe and me sane. I am in need of any suggestions I can get from this great community!


Year 7 of 24/7 caring for mom in her home. 6 mo ago my son stepped up & now comes 5 days a wk for evening hours. (God bless him!) But I have come to the point that I need to move her to memory care. For her own safety mostly. As she "constantly" wants to "go home". She believes her parents (who both passed in the 1960's) need her help. She is anxious, angry and paranoid most of the time now. And she really doesn't know who I am. She mostly trusts me, except when I won't let her leave. Then she gets very angry. It's so hard. As I'm sure most of you know. We live in MN. She has no assets, even her home is a reverse mortgage, & only has social security income. So I have to do an application for elderly waiver (which I hear can take months) & wait for it to be approved. So.... While I am waiting I'm looking for advice about keeping her safe & me sane! I have alarms on the doors & they help a lot. But when she's really upset she breezes right through. (Usually while I'm using the bathroom) My son wanted to put padlocks on the doors at night. But I kind of felt funny about that. What do you think? His thought is that it would allow me to sleep sounder. As she often doesn't sleep for days so I don't either. Anyway, I would appreciate hearing from anyone. And I do have more questions. But no time now. Thank you!!!!

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Thanks so much for quick replies!!! I will definitely use the black rugs, or similar idea! Also the childproof doorknob covers! Awesome ideas.
The padlock idea was really just something that arose out of panic. Mom went missing on day in March. Fortunately we live in a very small town, & she was found within an hour.
I do have a place picked out here in our town. I haven't talked to them about taking her prior to being accepted because in their paperwork it says that someone has to be willing to be responsible for the bill in case it does not go through. And unfortunately none of her family members can afford that.
Gotta run...❤❤❤
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to Juel19

Dulce, I would say my daughter is working and going to school to have a secure future for herself. Her grandmother is not her responsibility at this time. I just read Countrymouse’s response. Try that first - a better option.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to anonymous439773

Dulce, trying not to spit in their eye if you can help it is a very a good start.

Honestly, the nerve of some people! Do you have to answer their impertinent questions at all? If you can, just nod and smile and walk on. If they continue to give unsolicited advice or to pry into your affairs... Well, as I say. Tell them where to get off as nicely as you feel is right.

They're probably doing it as a way of trying to show sympathy for you. So have patience. "We're managing well, thank you for your concern" is ample for the really persistent among them.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to Countrymouse

My name is "M" I have a question? I am caring for my mother who is 99 years old. I am her caregiver and guardian. My mother does receive outside care for 4 hours for 6 days a week. I have a child who is 33 years old. I have been questioned as to why my child does not help me more with the care given as I do. My child does live with her grandmother. My adult child works and goes to school. I am handling my mother's care well. I just started caring for my mom. I have been caring for my mom on a daily bases for a total of 8 months. Not to become rude with those who are questioning me: What should I tell the people who are questioning me as to why my adult child does not help me more? Thanks for your help.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to Dulce55

I agree about the anxiety. But as my RN daughter said, it's now a quality of life thing. Being anxious all the time is not good for them. Are your door knobs to the outside round, if so try the baby safety ones. When installed, they go around and around so the door can't be opened. But you can.

My cousin put dead bolt locks on the inside side of the door. Could only be opened with a key He lived with my Uncle and when he was away there was an Aide 24/7. When his Dad passed, he removed them because they were a fire safety problem. Not sure if he had to get permission to use them.

Don't u have locks on your bathroom door? I can see why you wouldn't but maybe a latch up top where Mom can't reach it would be good.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to JoAnn29

Padlocks prevent anyone from getting out of building in an emergency (in case of a fire) &/or prevent emergency personnel (police or fire or EMTs) from getting into the building. Please do not use them!

You might try child-proof doorknobs as some elderly people can not turn the door knob because they do not have the strength in their hands. Again, there is the safety issue of how easily can someone get out of the door in an emergency like a fire.

Freqflyer's idea of a black throw rug on the floor in front of door works quite well. We used black plastic floor mats or black tape at some of the LTC facilities I worked at that when we didn’t want someone with dementia to go through a door. It worked because they really do think that rug is a black hole in the floor and will not step on it. The problem occurred when the person HAD to go through the door to go outside of the Memory Care Unit for a doctor appointment, etc. We couldn’t get them out the door until we “built a bridge” over the black hole. :) 

Another technique that we used was a “Stop Sign” or a “Do Not Enter” sign. We would attach a RED STOP SIGN with Velcro to the door frame of any door that we did not want the residents to go through. It worked most of the time. When we wanted that resident to go through that door, we just took down the “Stop Sign”. Here are two websites so that you can see what the signs look like:
https://www.securesafetysolutions.com/DoorBanner.htm -- offers a 12” x 50” “Stop Sign” & “Do Not Enter Sign” combined that provide a strong visual cue to a resident that they should either not exit through a door or enter a room.


Good Luck and let us know if you finds something that works for your mom.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to DeeAnna

Juel, no padlock, please. I understand why your son would suggest that, but I think the safety issue makes it too big of a risk.

Have you picked out a memory care place that accepts the Medicaid waiver? Would they accept her as a Medicaid Pending resident? Have you started the application process yet? Her finances seem pretty straight-forward. My mother's MN application went through very quickly. I suspect it is cases of married couples where one will remain in the home, or cases of complicated assets (joint ownership, etc.) that takes months. Depending who you heard it from I wouldn't necessarily assume the worst about wait time. (My experience is from several years ago, though.)

Have you discussed her paranoia, etc., with her doctor? Is she on any medications to reduce anxiety?
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to jeannegibbs

Juel, yes it is time for your Mom to move there she will get a higher need of care that us morals are unable to provide 168 hours per week.

As you wait, if your Mom wants to go outside in the middle of the night, try placing a black throw rugs in front of the front door and back door. Usually a person who has memory issues will think that rug is a dark hole in the floor and will not step on it. Then in the morning pick up those rugs. No guarantee this will work, but worth a try.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to freqflyer