Keeping Your Loved Ones Safe
If you have a parent or parents who are living with dementia, you may be concerned about keeping your loved ones safe at home. Dementia can often be the cause of an older person wandering, and if you worry that they may be at risk of wandering away from home or in danger of injury in the home, there are various assistive technology solutions available. These can help your loved one to maintain their independence for as long as possible whilst providing you with the peace of mind of knowing they are safe.
Identifying the Problem Areas
If your loved one has begun to wander outside the house or is at danger of falling inside, you should start by identifying the danger spots. This might be exits and entrances to the house or places where they are likely to have a fall. Once you know which areas present a problem, you can look at the different types of technology available. You should also decide who should be alerted in the event of a problem occurring. This could be you or another family member if you live near at hand, but it may be more appropriate for your parent’s carer or care agency to be alerted if you live further away. If this is the case, you will need to ensure that they are able to enter the property with a key or a key code in case your parent is unable to help.
Methods of Getting Assistance
Products for the care of people who may wander can help with keeping your loved ones safe by alerting a relative or carer in various ways, including by auto-dialler alerts, GSM alerts or pager alerts.
Types of Sensors
If your parent is at risk of falling, you may want to be alerted when they get up out of their bed or chair. Chair or bed occupancy sensors can alert you when the person leaves the bed, and more advanced models can monitor how long they have been absent, so you could check if they have not returned after a certain time.
Passive infrared sensors can help you to monitor where in the house your loved one is, as they disturb the beam when they cross it. Floor-mat sensors can be useful so you can tell if they enter or leave a room, particularly when you have identified certain locations as more hazardous.
To prevent your loved one from wandering outside, door entry and exit keypads can alert you if the door is opened without the PIN. This can also be helpful to prevent scammers – as can bogus caller alarms, which are buttons near the front door that your parent can press to alert you if they are concerned about a caller. A more advanced version of this is the GSM doorbell, through which you can speak to the caller yourself and decide whether they should be admitted.
Window and door pull tag sensors can help in keeping your loved ones safe by triggering an alarm when the door or window is opened so that you are aware that they may have left the house.