A dis­ease like demen­tia makes it hard for those who suf­fer from it to func­tion as they once did. Demen­tia wreaks hav­oc on a person’s mem­o­ry, turn­ing their famil­iar sur­round­ings into the unknown. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, a dis­ease like demen­tia can cre­ate dis­ori­en­ta­tion and con­fu­sion to those who are plagued by it. Besides mem­o­ry loss and con­fu­sion, wan­der­ing is one of the most com­mon side effects of demen­tia.

How­ev­er, with the prop­er home secu­ri­ty mea­sures in place, you can save your loved one from becom­ing seri­ous­ly injured and wan­der­ing into a dan­ger­ous sit­u­a­tion.

The fol­low­ing home secu­ri­ty mea­sures are ide­al for some­one who suf­fers from demen­tia:

  • Install a door chime:
    This sim­ple device is usu­al­ly mag­net­ic and makes a sound when the door is opened. Some­times indi­vid­u­als with demen­tia may open their doors and for­get why they’ve done so. They may even leave the door open and for­get about it, leav­ing their home vul­ner­a­ble to theft. The chime will remind them that the door is ajar. Some secu­ri­ty sys­tems will even allow you to receive a text when the door chime goes off at cer­tain times of the night to inform you that your loved one has left the door open.

These are also help­ful tools for the fam­i­lies of those with demen­tia. Hear­ing the door chime will noti­fy fam­i­ly mem­bers that some­one has opened it, giv­ing them the oppor­tu­ni­ty to stop the per­son who opened it before they have the oppor­tu­ni­ty to get too far.

  • Night­lights are key:
    These are not to be con­fused with the plug-in options that bright­en a child’s bed­room; these are high-tech sys­tems that keep wan­der­ers safe. Putting in assis­tive light­ing or auto­mat­ed illu­mi­na­tion in and around your loved one’s home is a great way to reduce the risk of injury if they go wan­der­ing. Opt for motion-sen­si­tive light­ing that turns on when some­one enters a room.
  • Con­sid­er the locks:
    This does not mean you should change the locks in your loved one’s home so that they can nev­er leave, but instead, have them moved to a high­er or low­er posi­tion on the door. If your loved one has to bend down or stand on their tip­py-toes to reach the door lock, they will have a hard­er time open­ing doors. This small amount of extra effort gives them enough time to stop and think about why they’re try­ing to open the door, often giv­ing them­selves time to real­ize they have no rea­son to leave, and instead decid­ing to stay inside the safe­ty of the house. Sim­ply put, keep­ing locks out of eye­sight leads to less chance they will wan­der out­side of their home.

Before you install any new secu­ri­ty sys­tems in the home of some­one with demen­tia, explain to them how it will help them. Your loved one will appre­ci­ate the care that goes into pro­tect­ing them from injury.

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Allan Baum
Security Industry veteran with over 30+ years in the industry. Founded family owned and operated Protection Plus in 1994 with his wife and has overseen its growth since. In addition to working with his wife and son, Allan has assigned the role of Chief Canine Officer to his trusted dog Waub, who joins him at the office every day.