Security When Caring for Alzheimer's Patients

Being a caregiver for a person with any type of illness or disability can be extremely stressful. When caring for Alzheimer's patients, however, there is an additional level of stress. That is because the patients often are able to get around fine physically but their judgment is sometimes very impaired. This leads to Alzheimer's patients wandering off in the middle of the night; something that has ended tragically for many.

Stories on the news of missing elderly people more often than not involve victims of Alzheimer's or another form of dementia. The constant fear that your loved one is going to wander off can be alleviated by putting some security measures in place. Below are a few ideas.


Door Chimes

One of the fears of caregivers is that their loved one will walk out of the house in the middle of the night. This can make it difficult for the caregiver to sleep, and some families have even resorted to sleeping in shifts.

Door chimes can give you peace of mind as they will emit a loud sound anytime the door is opened. It is very inexpensive to install these devices. If you already have a security alarm system, a door chime feature can usually be activated without an additional cost.

If you do not, and you want to avoid the monthly service fees associated with an alarm system, then you can buy door chimes from hardware or electronic stores. This type of door chime is not connected to a call center like a security alarm system, but it will allow you to know anytime the door is opened.

Medical Alert Systems

If the person that you care for is still in the early stages of Alzheimer's, you may be torn between wanting to allow them to keep as much independence as possible, but fearing that they might need help and be unable to call for it. A medical alert system can help to alleviate this fear.

The patient wears a device around their wrist or their neck. Should they fall or become disoriented while in their home or yard, they can simply push the button on the device and will be immediately connected to someone who can get help to them.

Keep in mind, these devices only work in the home. Also, the patient must have the presence of mind to remember to press the button on the device. For those reasons, this is only going to be useful for someone with the early stages of the disease.

Locator Device

If your loved one wandered off, how would you find them? Some Alzheimer's patients are missing for days before they are found. Some, sadly, are not found alive. A locator device allows you, along with the help of your local first responders, to find your loved one right away.

The patient wears a device around the wrist that contains a GPS device. If they are missing, the company that provides the service will work with local law enforcement to verify your caregiver status and will then activate the device. Once activated, police can pinpoint the exact location of the patient.

There is even an option for a secure band that cannot be removed by the patient.

Of course, none of these security measures take the place of keeping a close eye on an Alzheimer's patient. But, as a caregiver, they can give you an added measure of security and peace of mind.