It's the human condition that, if we live long enough, the body deteriorates as we age.
As long as we're not living in pain, most of us can accept that.
Some people are lucky and live a long healthy life keeping their wits about them to the end.
But, for others, it's the mental deterioration that's the hardest to bear. More so for the family who have the responsibility of caring for the sufferer,
For many people that's not something that's always easy to live with.
Shakespeare sums it up in the in the final part of Jacques' Seven Ages of Man speech from As You Like It:
"Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
IS SECOND CHILDISHNESS AND MERE OBLIVION,
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything."
Maybe a bit extreme for many folk, but it's the second childhood that can create a lot of problems for those afflicted with cognitive decline.
As you need to look out for kids who lack experience of danger and injury, so you should for an immediate family member who suffers from chronic mental decline. In a way you need to become their memory and conscience in order to protect them as you would with young children.
We need to keep that in mind when dealing with our kin that's afflicted with any form of dementia. It's a sad thing to see elderly relatives lose their faculties but that makes it all the more important to look to their safety and well-being.
You need to do what you think is right and sufficient to ensure their safety both in and around the house or when they are out and about under supervision. For you own peace of mind, it's worth remembering that if there is no awareness in your kin then they can't be insulted or demeaned by what form of protection your concern takes.
It's a comfort in itself that there are many things we can do to reduce physical danger to those suffering from this terrible condition.
One sure way is to control movement around the house using motion sensors, lock-out devices and inside door locks for dementia patients.
We show five models that cover different aspects for managing doors and window to make the house safer for anyone whose mental faculties are diminished.
There were several good reasons why we decided on this selection.
One is that they are very popular and have earned high rating reviews. This underlines the fact that they do work in practice.
Another is simplicity in application. There are no great skills or specialist tools needed to install this hardware.
Yet another good reason is that these items are designed to protect families and their homes. We see no real difference between making things safer for kids and making them safer for people with dementia. It's merely a matter of what works in a practical manner.
We believe that any of this selection will help you achieve peace of mind about the safety of your loved one as well giving you a good night's sleep into the bargain!
The connecting door between the garage and the house is one example - for general security, you would want to install a double-cylinder deadbolt as well if you don't already have one fitted.
Another place to fit this item might be the door to the basement or a door to a workroom where sharp tools or machines are kept.
Unless it really is totally impractical for regular use, some people might need to lock off their kitchens if a dementia sufferer is prone to wander in there and fiddle around.
We've featured this lock not because it's a security fitting but because it's keypad operated (with key override). That makes accessing the locked-off room simpler for other members of the family who have the code - much more simpler than carrying a key or having it stored nearby. It can be operated by six different codes at any one time.
The lock pad is operated on the inside by a turn button so there's no risk of someone being locked in. It has an auto-lock feature whereby the it will lock securely when the door is closed. Alternatively you can set the door to auto-lock between 10 to 50 seconds. It operates on the Kwikset smart key system and if you already have this make fitted in the house you can key this item with the other locks.
There's a choice of three finishes - brass, nickel and bronze. So toning it in with your decor needn't be a problem.
It suits most standard doors and you need only a screwdriver to fit it within minutes.
It's been highly praised by most the folks who bought this - probably for external security we guess as it's rated under the ANSI code to grade 3 for residential security.
It uses four AA batteries that you need to buy separately.
With the majority of nearly 3000 people giving it 4.5 stars and the lifetime guarantee for the finish and mechanical parts, together with a year for the electronics. makes this a safe buy for you.
So looking out for them during the sleeping hours is crucial to prevent wandering.
With that in mind we've included this little security camera cube that packs a lot of technology for a surprisingly low price. Many features are related to general security but there are some aspects that has advantages for managing dementia sufferers.
A major benefit of this devices is that it has good night vision - it registers 1080p resolution with a range of 30 ft in complete darkness. It also monitors sounds even allowing for two-way communication (reviewers say that the audio is not the best but adequate).
You set up the schedule so that notifications are made when you think they needed. So if it's only at night then you can set that up easily.
You control all that through your smart phone which alerts you by notification of events through live-streaming as they happen. It's an added boon that because the alert is sounded remotely on your phone, the occupant is not startled and confused by any sudden alarm in their room. You can identify through the notification message whether the alert was a motion or sound trigger.
You set it up through your phone linking into the makers cloud connection and downloading their app to your phone (all the phones in the house can be linked if the app is downloaded to them). You need to register a user name and password. But there are no extra fees for using their online storage- you even get a couple of weeks before they are deleted.
As an alternative you can store events locally using a card which isn't supplied with the device.
It can also be voice-controlled through Alexa if you have that in your home.
The camera is easily positioned out of the way of inquisitive fingers. It can be attached to any metal surface directly or, by using the stick-on magnetic disk, anywhere on the wall.
It need to be plugged into your domestic electricity supply in using the micro-USB cable included. Battery operation is not an alternative.
It's already being used successfully as a baby monitor out with its security functions and it's easy to understand why. For such a low cost with such great benefits this device could be an excellent help to you in your care of your patient.
The device scores highly with many of the nearly 40,000 people who have taken the time to review this little wonder.
It's designed to prevent young children from gaining entry to certain rooms around the house but it can be equally suitable for use with seniors in mind depending on the severity of their condition and their determination to go where they want to go!
It's fitted to the top frame of the door where it's unobtrusive and difficult to operate for seniors with regular cognitive issues. If they're mentally alert at times, they could operate the lock if they're tall enough. And their adult body weight could be used to try to force a way through the door.
By using this easy to install device, access to risk areas can easily be restricted by simply sliding the bolt into place. Don't be misled by the product picture - the long piece hanging down is the wand extension. It's supplied for the benefit of shorter folks who may need the extra stretch to slide the bolt! For most people it's an easy task to reach up and slip the bolt home.
Really effective in securing doors to bathrooms, home gyms, laundry rooms or for limiting access to closets where household chemicals are stored.
It's very important to note that it will fit only doors up to 1 3/8" thick. However, this size is very common for domestic doors. It's also limited for use it on internal doors only.
Once fitted it can be operated either side of the door - handy if you want a bit of privacy yourself at times!
This lock has proved itself to reviewers in keeping inquisitive babies and toddlers in check although some had doubts. With reservations, it could perform a similar useful function in managing more infirm seniors.
It's such a low cost it could be worth trying at least once.
Front and back doors with windows are particularly vulnerable to misuse.
So you need to manage those areas to limit where dementia sufferers might wander. To do that you need to be alerted when your patient does try to stray.
For that reason wireless audible alarms might be a sensible option. The sleek looking model featured here are inexpensive and can be fitted exactly where you need them to monitor actions. They activate when the opening door breaks the contact between the sensors. It's designed as burglar alarm but it may be of use for certain situations for dementia patient monitoring.
There are only three settings - off, chime and alarm.
The alarm is noisy (listed as 120 DB) with the usual sound of the B-movie monster ants! That should be kept in mind as they sound off locally when activated. This might shock some seniors with the sudden noise but it will be highly effective in alerting you about the event. Maybe a little scare is better than your loved one falling out of a window or wandering onto a busy street.
Alternatively to tone things down, the setting could be set to chime during the day (provided you can hear it) and either switched off or reset to alarm at night, remembering it will sound even louder in the quiet hours. Or maybe vice versa could be your preferred option.
The settings are adjustable and they don't need wired in. They are for indoor use only and are easily installed with sticky Velcro tapes and full instructions and all hardware included.
They are battery operated and four LR44 units come with each monitor. There is a low-battery check functions for maintenance.
They are available in various packs from a single up to a dozen. The single pack gives you an inexpensive option to try out this device to see if it will do the job.
There's a reduced warranty period - 90 days with limits.
However that's not deterred the majority of nearly 4,000 people giving it the thumbs up with a great ratings score. We reckon it's potential payback will be many, many times worth the very low outlay.
It's prime function is pick up movement and is ideal for alerting you that your elderly relative is getting out of bed or is about to leave a safe area.
It does not pick up on sounds from the scanned area (the sensor is silent at all times). If you need that function you could use a simple baby monitor or add the camera option we feature in this post. Reviewers posted that they used other kits without any conflict with this system.
The sensor is a neat 3.5" square box mounted on a swivel bracket. It can be placed horizontally at floor level or vertically above doorways to send an alert of someone's activity. It can pick up movement up to 30 ft with a 60 degree V-shaped scan - not likely to miss any moving adult. Keep in mind that it will pick up on pets moving around. One user got around that by fixing the scanner at a height to detect a standing adult - it worked.
It's battery operated (not supplied) and needs three AA units to power it.
The monitor measures just over 5" by 4" and is powered by three C batteries which are not included in the package. There is no low-battery warning on this or the sensor but to avoid any problems with power loss, you can buy a 12 volt AC adapter for each device.
The monitoring unit has three volume settings which makes it useful particularly for night time supervision as you can set the alarm level that you're comfortable with. On checking through the reviews, people seem to be satisfied with the choice of pitch for the alarm chimes. One user likens the sound to the doorbell tone you hear when entering a store and for them it doesn't " jolt you out of your sleep".
You can run up to six detectors from one monitor. As an option, you can run other sensing units like nurse call and bed pads from the monitor instead of sensors or mix them together. That means you can allow for complete detection cover throughout the home.
Another buyer mentioned an important point in that the monitor does not have a reset function. After any activation, to rearm it you need to switch off and then on again. This reviewer worried that someone might forget to switch it back on. However that need not be a problem because the maker does sell, as an extra, a wireless remote reset that will reactivate the monitoring device at a touch of a button.
Overall most of the reviewers considered this sensing bundle worth the healthy ratings score they awarded to it. Many state that the US manufacturer offers a helpful after-sales service.
That and a 1-year guarantee for this package offers you some ease of mind when considering this option.