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My mom is 91 moderate dementia but physically in good condition. She is obsessed with being outside to walk her little dog or get fresh air. She has tried to enter neighbors homes so we never leave her alone and have caregivers a few days and my sister and I watch her. She picks up dandelions and leaves and brings them in. This is harmless. My doors are alarmed so I know when they are opening. Has anyone ever locked in their LO? I live with her, but she gets up too early to go out!

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I've read that people put a black rug in front of the door. It makes it look like it's a hole. Might be a determine.
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Reply to Sidesaddle
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THanks for all input. I asked this question about locks on inside of doors for safety while I am home. Lots of helpful tips appreciated. Some may not understand the problem as many LOs are not as healthy.
Very concerning when neighbors tell you that your mom was out at 5 am with no dog 2 blocks away.
With no short term memory, going outside every 5 minutes gets stressful for the person with memory. "You were just out " doesn't work on elderly who think they are fine. I am just asking how others have handled this issue, not locking her in. Child safe doorknob covers are so far the best thing I haven't thought of. Looking for a better solution, not wanting to do anything illegal or unsafe. She will go outside in any weather any time, and gets combative and angry when we say no.
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kimberlitas May 14, 2019
Yes, it will keep her safe and help you keep your sanity. The day my neighbor showed me a picture of mom rummaging in another neighbors car I knew I had to make some hard decisions. I retired so she wouldn't be alone, put a lock on the gate of the front yard fence (backyard is 6ft. block wall), around 5 p.m. when she's sundowning I take the key out of front/side door security screens ( keys hidden nearby). I also give her CBD oil under the tongue when she starts getting anxious.

If you do it with consideration and safety in mind I see no problem with it.
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"King of Queens" Arthur. He was an older gentleman who was dog walked with other dogs by a dog walker.
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Reply to shad250
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Be careful, don't ask for help from any agency or you will be in the middle of an investigation for elder abuse. It sounds crazy, but I've watched people go through it, and it's not fun. They check into the finances and the routine in the home, etc. not just keeping mom safe inside. Kind of like if CSD was checking to see if the kids are safe at home, not a visit that you can trust. It will depend on your state laws too, so try to look up elder rights and information on what is allowed or not allowed.

for example; https://www.washingtonlawhelp.org/resource/protecting-elders-and-vulnerable-adults-from?ref=316t6

best of luck, keep her safe.
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hairgirlie May 14, 2019
Scary stuff. Already worry about neighbors who tell me she tried to enter their home or see her outside all day.
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Double key lock is the best idea.  Keep a key hidden close by.  We did this on the front screen door that way she can look out and we can have the fresh air but she can't escape.  Some people don't agree but it's what keeps her inside and safe.  If she can go out in the backyard, put a really strong lock on the gate (with no boxes or chairs nearby that she can climb on) and make sure all the fence boards are in good shape.  Maybe put some flowers in a pot on the patio that she can pick.   All my best.
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Reply to Jessica40
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If by “locking her in” you mean the doors from the house to the great out of doors - fine.

If your talking anything more more restrictive than that - H3LL NO! Not unless you want to risk getting arrested for elder abuse - or worse.

Some time back a local couple locked their disabled adult son in his room while they went to the store. The house caught fire and the young man was killed. The couple? They were arrested for Manslaughter.
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Reply to Rainmom
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hairgirlie May 14, 2019
No, from inside only. She is never left alone ever. Currently we have a big note on the door saying don't go out alone.
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Yes, lock the doors - but make sure that when you are up and about, you take her out into the sunshine and fresh air with the dog. She has to have someone with her when she goes out. In the meantime, open the windows in her room so she gets fresh air, and if she is cold, get another sweater.
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Reply to Riley2166
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Probably the easiest is to get deadbolts with the keyholes on both sides. Your local locksmith shop owner who knows more product lines than the big box stores may have some even better creative ideas.
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Reply to MACinCT
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My mother's house had a large bay window in the front, windows all along the side, and a large glass patio door in the back. When she wasn't watching TV or napping, she would use her walker to stroll from the front window to the back. I also put a higher chair near the side window and she would occasionally sit to watch the neighborhood goings on. She was never locked in, but there were sensors on all the doors and windows and security cameras in both rooms which I would monitor with my phone.
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hairgirlie May 11, 2019
I have cameras also, I wish she would just sit by the big window, but on sunny days, she wants to be out there and she could fall or get lost. She's really fast !
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We haven't had to lock Pops in because he can barely open a regular locked door. We watch him 24/7 and have a child's pull string musical toy positioned so that if he makes it to the door and manages to open it the string will cause the toy to play music and alert us that he's leaving. He's more of a hermit than a wanderer and I'm thankful for that.
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Reply to faeriefiles
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I sympathize. I had to live at my mother's home to care for her for a long time and she got the local newspaper but it's a condo, with an elevator, so it was left in the lobby, and she was obssessed with getting it by 7 am or else someone would steal it. As much as I hated it, I would set my iPhone alarm for 7 am, and go down to the lobby and get the newspaper. And, then go back to bed.

If the doors are alarmed, so you can hear when she tries to leave, why would she need to be locked in? Please help me understand --- if she gets up really early and tries to leave the home, then the alarm goes off, which I totally understand can interfere with your normal sleeping, how would a door lock help? If she's like my mother, back when she lived at home, she would just get frustrated and come into your room and wake you up, right? So, not a win-win solution.
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hairgirlie May 11, 2019
She gets out when I am in the shower , or when whoever is watching her is in the bathroom! We have notes all over the door not to go out alone. Also she forgets she was just outside and heads for the door! Even the dog needs a break! I have to redirect her and keep her busy.
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There are latches that can be put at the top of the door. If you have round knobs, they are baby safety covers that for Mom go around and around but u can open the door. My cousin installed key deadbolts inside. These are a fire hazard, but his Dad was never alone. Once he pasted, they were removed.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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hairgirlie May 11, 2019
Baby safe knobs are a good idea, mom is extremely crafty though. I was thinking about the keyed locks. Mom is never left alone.
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