Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Preventing Wandering with Door Alarms

Sundowners combined with wandering can be a trying time for caregivers. My mother only experienced "Sundowners" for a short time. However one experience lasted over a week during which she did not sleep at all. I managed for about three days to stay awake. It was a grueling experience. I was fearful that she would go outside and I wouldn't hear her leave. I talked to Mom's social worker, Dee Dee, and she suggested door alarms.

The set we got was from RadioShack and was actually a home security system. The system had wireless alarms that were attached to the door and frame. It had a central receiver that was plugged in. You could program it to call the police if the alarm went off (I disabled this option). The door alarms could be set to "chime" or make a "raucous noise" that was loud enough to wake the neighbors.

Shortly after the alarms had been installed I was talking on the phone to Dan (my husband to be, at this time we were just dating). Just before he called me, a friend of mine and her grand-children stopped by to visit. While talking to Dan one of the kids went out the door, making it chime. I continued talking because Mom was sitting on the couch beside me. After the door chimed Dan said, "Why are you still on the phone?" I explained to him that Elsie and her kids were here and Mom was safe.

I was amazed when I realized how conditioned all of us were to listen for the chime. The door alarms saved my sanity and kept Mom safe.

I have seen updated door alarms in several places. The prices for most systems are very reasonable. (1) Wireless Door Alarm (2) Wireless Door Watch Alarm (3) Door Alarms


Judy said...

I'm looking into purchasing some door alarms for my mom. Thanks for sharing your story.

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