What are some tools I can use for my father with dementia that is starting to wander?
There are some good tools you can use for your loved one’s that are starting to wander. If you’re not in the industry you would never hear about these items. There is everything from simple door locks, murals, GPS locators, or alarms that are motion activated. It can be a challenge when your loved one starts to wander it doesn’t happen all the time but you still worry. A person may leave at 11pm thinking they are going to work, or walking out the door to look for a spouse that passed years ago. This small lapse can really put your loved one at risk. A loved one that is likely not in the best shape and won’t remember to come home is lost and alone. We have to do the best we can to protect our loved ones using some of these products can help. Simple and easy things to do are door locks and murals. A small sliding lock is easily opened by you and will deter your loved one from getting out of the front door. A person with dementia won’t think to look up toward the top of the door for a lock and will try the door and usually give up and move on. Some locks need to be a little stronger and more discreet for some extra protection. You can set motion detector alarms outside of the bedroom door to alert you if your loved one gets up at night. If your loved one does leave then the panic sets in you don’t know where your loved one is. For these situations there are wearable GPS locators that can find your loved one quickly. Lets look at some different tools for keeping your loved one safe.
A door Mural is an easy way to get you loved one to not go out of the front door. It is easily stuck on and a person with dementia will look at it and move on usually because it looks like a shelf instead of a door.
This is the door guardian it is a lock that goes on an inward swinging door. The guardian is not very noticeable and jams the door so that someone with dementia would not figure it out leaving you with some peace of mind.
If your loved one does get up you will want to know as soon as possible. A great option is to set up motion activated alert that you can set with an alarm or with a voice alert. You can have a message that tells you which sensor your loved one is at alerting you to their movements. Set it outside of bedroom door or by a stairwell to give you an alert that your loved one may be going into an unsafe area of the home.
The voice alert system can be set up with 6 sensors. The sensor can be put near a door way or stairs or garage to let you know when your loved one gets into an area that is unsafe without supervision.
The Smartsole is a hidden GPS device that can be used with a phone app to find your loved one. It is simple to put into a shoe and a person will never even think about it. There is no watch to lose or pager to carry. The Smartsole also has a monthly subscription plan that is about 30 dollars a month.
The Yepzon is a personal GPS tracker that uses a mobile app to locate. It is a more affordable option with a low monthly fee. It has no on or off button and is all done through the app. This is a little bigger than the watch but can be worn as a pendant. This does use the T-Mobile cellular service.
These are a few tools you can use for a wandering loved one. In part-2 we will take a look at some tools to keep your loved one safe in the home.
This motion sensor pager is good because you can set it by your loved ones bed and if they get up at night it can alert a portable pager. This can save the hassle of an alarm going off and waking up everyone in the home and can be carried while you move around the house.
Medical alert bracelets and tags are good in case your loved one does leave. It will have your information and any medical information that could be crucial if they are injured or found wandering such as allergies and medical conditions such as diabetes.
The Triloc GPS locator watch is a more advanced option for your loved one. The Triloc uses cellular reception and has a locking band, two way voice communication, and an SOS button. It can track location every 60, 10, or 1 minute intervals. This does work on the AT&T network so make sure that there is coverage in your area it also has a monthly fee.
The LOK8U is a GPS watch that can be set with a safe distance from the base. The LOK8U can alert you if you loved one leaves the safe area and it will start tracking. This comes with a $50 a month fee. It has a locking band and text message and e-mail alerts.