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Understanding Dementia Wandering and How Door Alarms Can Help

Dementia wandering is a major concern for caregivers and family members. This problem requires a solution that can provide caretakers some peace of mind. This post is going to deal with what is dementia wandering, and how door alarms can prove to be the solution for keeping your loved ones safe.

If you’re a caregiver for someone with a form of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, you should try to learn more about the challenges that you will end up facing. One of these challenges is dealing with a patient who wanders. The Alzheimer’s Association states that six in ten people with Dementia are going to wander or escape.

Patients with Alzheimer’s have no sense of time. They will try to leave their facility or home to wander around. If they have access to a vehicle, they may even drive aimlessly to an unknown location and get lost, which can be a traumatic experience for everyone involved.

One of the best solutions for dementia wandering is a door alarm. Door alarms for elderly are incredibly beneficial because they will alert everyone in the home if a person exits through a door. This will give you peace of mind when you’re a caregiver for someone with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.

Why It’s Not Recommended to Lock Doors

If you’ve ever lived with someone that has Alzheimer’s or dementia, you must have thought about different locking methods, such as placing a latch above the eye-level. It’s not recommended to lock doors because this will create a fire hazard, as it will make it difficult to escape the home for the individual when they need to. The person being cared for may also be offended by being locked inside their own home and will get frustrated or angry with you.

Dealing with Dementia Wandering

One of the most common behaviors exhibited by Alzheimer’s patients is that of wandering. It could be aimless wandering throughout the home or restlessly pacing around in a room. If you’re in public, they may start wandering away from you and get lost in the crowd. You may need to deal with severe consequences if they end up wandering away from you and manage to get lost.
A lot of people have found dementia or Alzheimer’s patients in critical or disoriented conditions, because of hypothermia or missed medications. The outcome can be even more severe in some cases.

A Door Alarm Ensures Protection &Peaceful Nights

A door alarm will not stop the person from exiting through the door but will alert everyone at home that someone has gone through the door. If the person that has left is your family member with Alzheimer’s, you know that they need to be redirected back into the home or need assistance.
Door alarms ensure that your loved ones are safe since you’ll be alerted immediately if they ever try to leave the home unaccompanied. It allows you to relax a little as keeping track of someone on a constant basis is an extremely exhausting task.

A door alarm will ensure that you can sleep soundly through the night with the knowledge that if the patient tries to wander out of the home, the alarm will quickly alert you. It’s common knowledge that dementia patients have no sense of night and day, which is why they tend to wander later at night.

You can also install door alarms on exterior doors to protect those individuals who need to be supervised or monitored outside of the home. If the house has a hot tub or pool, door alarms can provide an additional layer of protection. Even if your loved one with dementia used to be great swimmers, they can become disoriented if they fall or get into the pool.

It’s also common to install door alarms on doors inside the home, like the bathroom door. The alarm will then alert you when your loved one goes into the bathroom, and you can help them with personal hygiene or mobility.

The Types of Door Alarms Available

You don’t need to worry if you don’t have a door alarm installed to be part of your security system. Numerous types of door alarms are sold separately from security systems. The best part is that you can easily install these door alarms yourself. To give you a better idea, we are going to highlight some of the main types of door alarms available, which include:

1.      Passive InfraRed (PIR) Alarms

A PIR alarm is a good choice and the alarm will sound when the plane across the door breaks, alerting you that someone has walked across the threshold or opened a door. The PIR alarm can be placed on both exterior and interior doors, where it will alert you if your loved one is attempting to leave the home, and if they need your assistance inside the home.

2.      String Alarm

The string alarm is a plain string that is attached across the door opening and is fastened with a magnet. You should place the string high on the door frame and when the door will open, the string will detach from the magnet and the alarm will sound. You need to reattach the string to the magnet to stop the alarm.

3.      Magnetic Door Alarms

Magnetic alarms come with two parts that are joined together with a magnet. One part will be attached to the edge of the door frame, while the other part is attached to the door next to the frame. When the two parts are disconnected it will trigger the alarm.

4.      Floor Sensor Alarms

These types of alarms have a magnetic lock on the door and sensor pads that are placed on the floor, and you can preset the alarm to different settings. For instance, you can either set it that a person may easily exit and return in a short time before the alarm sounds, or you can set it to sound the moment someone opens the door.


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