When you're the caregiver for a loved one with dementia, you may have to contend with the fact that your loved one will start to wander off. This wandering is a common aspect of the condition, and while you don't want to lock down your home and turn it into a maximum security prison, you'll want to prevent this wandering. This can be addressed by securing your home.
Your front door lock will need to be upgraded. It might be enough to remove the key from the lock, but this can be problematic, as you will need to keep it somewhere accessible, meaning your loved one can easily retrieve it. Call in your local locksmith services provider, and have them install a double keypad lock. This has two panels — one internal keypad, and one fitted outside. Each can have a unique code, and you might choose for the internal keypad to be activated with an easy-to-remember code for quick use in an emergency. This means that without the code, your loved one cannot unlock the door and wander away.
Other Security Features
In addition to your newly-installed lock, the entrance to your home will also benefit from a few additions to protect your loved one. A door closer is an inexpensive form of safety. This is mounted on the upper interior side of the door. They generally operate via a spring which is compressed when the door is opened and then releases this pressure to close the door. It stops you from accidentally leaving the door open, which then prevents any opportunistic wandering. You could also install a door usage sensor, which creates an electronic record of anyone exiting via the door. It doesn't record audio or video, so it doesn't cause any privacy issues, and you can receive a notification to your phone if someone goes out and doesn't return within an allotted time. A subscription fee may be required.
Outside Your Front Door
Your front door may not be your last line of defense. If you have a fenced front yard, think about installing a gate (if you don't have one already). This gate can then be locked, and while you can opt for a keypad lock, a simple padlock will also get the job done. Even if your loved one makes it outside unsupervised, they will remain safely on your property.
Wandering is an unfortunate feature of dementia, but with a few modifications to your home security, your loved one can be well-protected.
For more information, contact a locksmith.