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Topic Leaving door open at night Go to previous topic Go to next topic Go to higher level

By lurkingforacure On 2012.03.07 09:54
My husband is up all night and has recently taken to leaving the back door wide open! When I go to the kitchen to make the kids' breakfasts and pack lunches, there is the door, wide open. I'm the last to get to sleep at our house and make sure everything is locked and deadbolted before I nod off-he is unlocking AND switching the deadbolt in order to open the door, yet isn't closing it!

I've asked him to be sure he closes it firmly (after first just asking to PLEASE not go out at 3 or 4am because he lets our pets out and then we are going nuts trying to find them when we get up) but I have come into the kitchen now several times to find our house just as open as if we didn't even have a door! I'm concerned for our safety (who knows who might wander into our home while we are asleep, or some critter, even!) and don't know what to do.

Does anyone have any ideas? I've been sleeping in my youngest kid's room for some time as I was not able to get any sleep in my husband's and my bed, so now I dont' wake up every time he gets up at night (which was very often), but I can't be letting him leave the house door open-what if one of our kids got up to go to the bathroom at night and saw the open door and wandered out....ugh.

Anyone dealt with this?

By packerman On 2012.03.07 10:26
have not dealt with this, but what about door alarms?
i believe they have them at the hardware store and are not too expensive.

By karolinakitty On 2012.03.07 22:07
Like Pat said there are door alarms for those with Alzheimer's and Dementia that you can get. If your husband is on disability and has medicare I heard they help pay for them..son't know if that's true but someone told me that.

We live in the boonies so our doors are never locked, so i don't worry when he leaves the door open..well, except maybe when the heat pump is going...

By susger8 On 2012.03.08 07:19
Hide the keys? I know that sounds flippant, but it might be necessary.


By housemouse On 2012.03.08 18:25
I do not know if this will be any help to you, but there is an alarm that Hospice can give you.

It attaches to their pjs, and then their bed, and sounds an alarm for you if they try to get out of bed. It is small, but needs a 9 volt battery.

Get in touch with your local Hospice, and have your doc sign off that you need their help. They are wonderful.

By susger8 On 2012.03.09 08:03
More for PWPs who might wander away outside -- in my area you can get a free bracelet-type device that has a GPS in it. If the person wanders and gets lost, you call the police and they can activate it and find the person quickly. Dad's social worker from the county Office on Aging told us about it.


By LOHENGR1N On 2012.03.09 08:44
Lurking, I don't have any idea other than trying to get some feedback from him if he'll tell you. Why does he leave the door open. You mention your pets, have they discovered He's the one they can get to let them out everytime they get a whim to go out? He might be sick of the game of getting up going to the door and letting them out or in every few minutes so he leave the door open. Does he feel anxious that he's "locked" in? Nervous in case of fire, or does he think he hears someone knocking and finds no one when he opens the door? (with it open he can just say it's open come on in). If you can find out the whys then it will be easier to figure out some hows to halt it. While the alarms will warn you of open doors be ready for them to go off all the night long until he's on to something else and leaves the door alone. I know this wasn't much help but I know of no simple answer to stop him right now. Take care, best of luck and hang in there.

By lurkingforacure On 2012.03.09 09:01
Thank you everyone, great suggestions. Al, again, your insight is invaluable. I think he's just up, and then goes in to the kitchen to get another snack, and he tells me he hears something and goes outside to check it out, or wants to look at the moon or check out the weather...meantime, pets take adavantage and get out (they aren't fools!). He will also let them out on purpose, which is fine, but not so early. We have talked about not letting them out before 5am, but I think he caves because they are at the door, begging and looking cute.

I'm not worried about him wandering off, we don't have that issue thankfully, more about someone or something wandering in, and of course we still have not found our missing pet. The door alarm idea is great, since it would be pretty much like the door alarm on the refrigerator that beeps if you leave it open too long. Thanks, everyone, I so appreciate your responses.

By drshepard On 2012.03.13 22:43
If you are no worried about hubby wandering off, you might get someone to install a self-closing mechanism. We ended up with the door alarms and ended up with a gate at the top of the stairs that, for awhile, we had to lock since my husband had fallen near the top of the stairs on his way to the bathroom. The mechanism that attaches to him is a good one. My husband is at a short-term rehab center and because he is a fall risk they are using the alarm on his bed, chair and wheelchair.

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