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Topic House wide open, dogs running in and out???? Go to previous topic Go to next topic Go to higher level

By dkleinert On 2009.10.20 11:31
Yesterday I woke up (my husband and I sleep in separate rooms) to find one of our dogs standing at my door looking up at me. Now that dog - both dogs are supposed to be secured in our mudroom at night. In fact, the evening before, my PD husband secured the dogs and turned on the alarm system - I heard him do it. So when we went to bed everything was secure and locked down. Now I not only saw one dog standing looking at me, but the front door wide open (it was 37 degrees here yesterday), the heater blarring, and the 2nd dog running in and out. I ran to the back door in the mudroom, and the alarm was off and that door was unlocked. I thought maybe my PD husband was in the bathroom and had forgotten and left the front door open for some reason (we hardly ever use that door). I ran back to his side of the house (opposite side from mine) and he was sound asleep. When he got up I asked him about it and he said he had not been up at all, and had not let the dogs out or opened the doors. I KNOW he had to have done this as no one other than our son (who lives in another city with his sons and very pregnant wife) could have done this. And unless I am losing my mind - my husband did this. This really scares me......yesterday we had my husband's Neuro bi-monthly appt, and I talked with his doctor about this. She only said - "well, you know Joe has PD dementia, and I can't really help you with these types of things"..... So now I NEED your input and advice. What should I do? This morning all was secure and locked up as normal when I got up at 6:30am. Please advise and let me know your thoughts - I am still stunned and concerned. Hugs to all of you.

By annwood On 2009.10.20 13:28
Yes, I am sure your husband did it and I feel certain he doesn't remember it. Two years ago on New Years morning I awoke and my two dogs were gone. They wear electric collars and the collars were by the door. My husband was up. He did remember letting the dogs out but had forgotten to put on the collars and also to bring them back inside. It was below freezing and the dogs were gone. I found one later that day several blocks away but the 17 yr old Lhasa was still missing at night fall. I was frantic and knew he would die of exposure that night. The next morning I called the pound and by some miracle he was there. He had been picked up the previous afternoon.

Your biggest concern is your husband's safety. One never knows when these episodes will occur. I think I would change the alarm code and assume the responsibility of putting the dogs in the mudroom. Not only will the alarm code change keep your house secure but it will alert you if your husband attemtps to go outside while you are sleeping - this seems to happen quite often. Do not let him know the new code.

I go back to my theory that those with marked dementia are like small children and we have to gauge what we allow them to do on that basis.

By LOHENGR1N On 2009.10.20 13:39
dkleinert, Unfortunately such tails are common with Parkinson's Disease. They say misery loves company (but I don't think "they" were talking about Parkinson's at the time). I've heard many tales about Parkies rising at night, driving off (in PJ's or not) not knowing where they're going but just going. Roaming the neighborhood etc. I'm sure many caregivers/partners can give tips of coping and strategies to combat this. Fortunately as yet I haven't had to deal with this on a personal level......it must be getting on to nap time here as I'm feeling a bit irreverent .......the picture of Abbot and Costello meet Wolfman comes to mind As I picture my neighbors locking me in the house saying don't open it till morning. Need a break from typing here. Take care, best of luck and hang in there.

By susger8 On 2009.10.20 14:31
Oh, that is scary. You may be getting to the point of needing a way to secure the doors. I would be worrying about his wandering away himself, not just the dogs.

I put a chain on my dad's door up at the top -- he can't reach it because of being stooped over. He goes through times when he doesn't recognize his house and tries to leave to go home.

In my area they have a program called Project Lifesaver. A person who is liable to wander gets a bracelet with a GPS. If they wander off, you can call the police and they can activate it, kind of like a Lo-Jack for people, so they can find the person quickly. Here it is free, through the Office on Aging.

Edited to add: you could change the alarm code, and set it so it goes off if he opens the door. Of course, that would be a horrible way to be awakened -- or at least, it would for me.

By Reflection On 2009.10.20 14:59
One other thought - some sleep medications, such as Ambien, can have the side effect which they call something like "complex behaviors when asleep" - driving, cooking, etc. This is especiallly common when the medications are taken on frequently. Since some Parkie take sleep medications, thought I'd pass it on.

By dkleinert On 2009.10.21 00:23
Change the alarm code I will do tonight - great advice, Annwood - so you know exactly what I felt like. I will give the code to my son, but not my husband. The alarm is soooooo loud when it is tripped, it will wake the neighbors (there is an outside horn after few seconds of inside beeping), then the alarm company calls on the speaker in the hall outside my bedroom..... if it goes off in the middle of the night...... but I can let neighbors know that this could happen...

The only other thing I can do is have a lock installed on each of the 3 exit doors up high and I would have to be the one to lock it with the key - but knowing Joe - he would get a screw driver and take off the lock!!! That would be his engineer's brain and how he thinks of things.....tools to handle any problem.

As far as sleep medications he takes - only Abilify for his emotional issues from PD- he takes it at bedtime.....could that be a part of the problem?

I now also worry that he might get in the truck that he no longer drives and might drive away after what I have read here - either at night or when I am not home.....have to somehow capture all of the truck keys (he still keeps a pair in his pants pocket all the time) and keep my car keys in the bedroom with me at night. We live out in the country on 3 acres, and so we are a couple acres away from the closest neighbor.

Will check on Project Lifesaver - that is awesome - hope it is available in my area.

Thanks to all again for invaluable information and advice....what a ride this PD roller coaster is!@!@#!

By lurkingforacure On 2009.10.21 12:48
On the truck keys: I would look at the keys he always has with him, see what they look like, color, etc. Then I 'd get some keys at the hardware store that looked like them...and when he's asleep, switch them. That way, if he does try to go drive off, the keys won't work and everyone is safe (although expect him to be some kind of p___ off!). In the meantime, he will feel independent having them in his pocket (but not knowing they fit nothing). Kinda like when you replace the kid's goldfish/rabbit/hamster when it died with an exact look-alike (I never did this, just know lots of folks who did). This same strategy could help you in this situation.

By susger8 On 2009.10.22 08:34
Lurking, that is a great idea! I may just do that. Dad is always looking for his keys, and that might make him feel better.

Sue

By dkleinert On 2009.10.26 01:55
Sorry to have been away - 4 days out of every 7, I work my 10 hours a day job, and have little time left because I arrive home at 10:30p - but I miss all of you on those days....thanks for the truck keys idea - I will do that next. I was worried about him getting really po'd if he discovered he no longer had his truck keys. Hope I can find one that looks like his Dodge Ram key....any suggetions?

The security system people are coming Monday to put in a keypad next to my bed and also help me with chimes or something so I know if my husband leaves the house. THANKS as always! Hugs to all!

By susger8 On 2009.10.26 08:34
You can go to anyplace that makes keys and they should have key blanks for the truck keys.

Sue


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