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    Going outside when it's dark
    avatar
    ifeelveryalone posted:
    My mom has Alzheimer's and is around stage 5 or 6. Our post office is about a mile from our house. My mom insists that somebody is stealing our mail so my mom makes several trips over there a day.

    Sometimes going over there as early as 4am, and it's still dark. I've tried distracting her with many different things and nothing works. If I physically try to stop her she gets very angry.

    I don't know what to do to keep her from going outside in the dark. I don't think it's safe for many reasons. We live in a small town but there are still creeps around not to mention it's cold outside. I have alarms on the doors and I'm aware when she goes out but I cannot stop her. I thought about locks on the doors but I'm not sure.

    Does anyone have any suggestions? Please help!
    Reply
     
    avatar
    davedsel57 responded:
    Hello.

    I think it would be worth considering having locks put on the doors so your mom can not get out by herself. She may get angry when she tries, but it would be better then her getting out and getting lost or hurt.

    Wandering is part of the disease at this stage from what I understand. You need to do all you can to care for and protect your mom.

    I hope I was able to help. Please keep us updated.
    Click on my user name or avatar picture to read my story.

    Blessings, Dave
     
    avatar
    cjh1203 responded:
    This is such a hard thing to deal with.

    I think Dave is right. Even if it makes her angry, for her own safety and your peace of mind, locks are probably a good idea.

    In addition to that, you might tell her a story that could put her mind at ease about people stealing the mail. Maybe you could tell her something like you wrote to the Postmaster General because she was worried about the mail being stolen, and he has someone watching to make sure nobody gets into your mailbox. I know it's a big, fat lie, but sometimes stories like that can help the patient stop obsessing about something.

    If it's any comfort, it seems as though phases like this are usually only temporary. I know that doesn't help while it's going on, though.

    Do please stay in touch.

    Carol
     
    avatar
    Judith L London, PhD responded:
    Hi,

    Definitely have locks put on the outside doors. Also, consider painting the inside of the door the same color as the wall to camouflage it. You can also buy or make a large a STOP sign and place it on the door. Another visual idea is to tack a poster of something like a bookcase on the inside of the door. Applying a 6 inch widestrip of black tape before the door itself often is percieved as a void and discourages people from stepping over it.

    Hope this works,
    Judy
     
    avatar
    An_249391 responded:
    Have you considered installing a sliding door lock that is up high, where you can still reach it but where she won't think of looking?

    It's so unsafe for her to be out in the cold and in the dark. You must be so frustrated. My heart goes out to you in this difficult time.

    My mom is a wanderer, too. She is in a facility where they can guide her back to her room, but when she was here at our home, I did some research and found these:

    http://www.amazon.com/Cardinal-Gates-Door-Guardian-White/dp/B004RL1IMC/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top


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