Posted at: 03/30/2010 2:51 PM
Updated at: 03/04/2014 7:43 AM
My grandma woke up this morning and my gramps was gone. The front door was wide open. It was the freezing cold air in the house that woke her up. She called my dad, who called the rest of the family, and luckily we all live about 5 minutes from each other. It was horrible. We couldn’t find him. We were so afraid we would find him dead or in a coma from the cold. I can’t explain the terrible feeling we all had. We were all panicking but trying to find him. My grandma was wailing. My family started going from house to house in the neighborhood, waking people up because it was 6:30 Sunday morning.
It turned out Gramps walked out of the house in his pajamas, bathrobe and slippers, made it to the next street over, and went inside a house through the garage. It was a house just like ours. He went to the bedroom, crawled in bed and went to sleep. There was a lady in that bed who didn’t even wake up until my father was ringing the doorbell. The poor lady was a wreck. Gramps was a wreck too, because he thought she was in his bed. We all laughed because we were so relieved he was all right, and the lady wasn’t pressing any charges. But we are so scared now. Grandma won’t consider having him live anywhere else. Right now my family is taking turns spending the night on the couch by the door. We aren’t sleeping very well and we can’t do this for much longer. What else can we do? My Grams doesn’t want aides in the house while she is sleeping. What can we do?
Thank you for helping us,
What you do, in part, is dependent on what you can afford.
Here are your options:
1. Hire a home health agency. It will be private pay.
2. Or, to minimize the number of people coming and going, hire privately.
3. Gramps cannot be alone in the house for a minute. That’s all the time it takes for him to go back out the door.
4. Put an alarm system on the door.
5. Put a security camera and alarm system on the door. The security camera can be connected to someone’s phone giving them video coverage of where Gramps is headed.
6. You could put a GPS system on Gramps to track him if he gets out.
7. You could sign Gramps up for the Safe Return Program through the Alzheimer’s Association.
Quite frankly, if you are considering all these measures, your options should be one of the following:
1. Someone must be awake watching over Gramps 24 hours a day, no exceptions.
2. Or, Gramps moves where he can be supervised and safe 24 hours a day. The memory care units around town would work well. If Grandma doesn’t want to be alone, she could move into the same community and visit as often as she would like.
If you would like further recommendations, contact my office.