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Door Locks for Dementia Patients: A Comprehensive Guide

Dementia patients often face a unique set of challenges in their daily lives. As a family member or caregiver, it’s crucial to ensure their safety and quality of life.

One effective technique to achieve this is by installing suitable door locks.

Door locks for dementia patients are specially designed safety locks that prevent unsupervised access to doors, reducing the risk of wandering. They can be traditional, digital, keyless, or biometric, and are chosen based on ease of use for caregivers, safety features, and emergency access options.

The truth is, the best door locks for dementia patients are the ones that work for that particular individual.

It’s important to consider their capabilities and limitations in order to find the best option.

This article will delve into the world of door locks for dementia patients, providing you with the knowledge you need to make the best care decisions.

Read more about how to secure a door for someone with dementia.

Understanding the Need for Door Locks in Dementia Care

Dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, often leads to cognitive impairment, which can make an older adult afflicted with this disease prone to wandering.

This can be a significant safety concern, especially if the dementia sufferer lives in their own home.

Door locks can provide peace of mind by preventing unsupervised access to exterior doors.

For instance, consider a scenario where an Alzheimer’s patient, in a state of confusion, wanders out of the front door in the middle of the night.

A suitable door lock could prevent this, ensuring the safety of the patient and giving peace of mind to dementia caregivers.

Types of Door Locks Suitable for Dementia Patients

There’s a variety of door locks available, each with its unique access code system or locking mechanism.

Traditional lock and key systems may not be the best choice for dementia patients due to the risk of losing keys.

Keyless locks, on the other hand, can be a great option.

Keyless Locks

Keyless locks, such as keypad locks or smart door locks, can be installed on standard doors. They require a pin code to unlock, which can be shared with family members and care managers.

A popular choice is the Lockly Smart Lock, which offers a combination of an unusual appearance and high security.

Confounding Door Lock

A confounding door lock is another effective safety device. It’s installed at an unusual location on the door frame, often out of the patient’s eye level.

This lock can be particularly useful for dementia sufferers who have a habit of opening doors.

Double-Sided Lock

Double-sided locks, like the Orangeiot Keyless Deadbolt Lock, require a code on both sides of the door.

This can be beneficial for dementia patients who might unlock the door from the inside and wander off.

I have listed some of these door locks below.

Features to Consider When Choosing Door Locks for Dementia Patients

When choosing door locks, consider factors like ease of use, safety features, and durability.

The lock should be easy for caregivers to operate but challenging for the dementia patient.

It should also offer emergency access options in the event of an emergency, allowing rescue personnel to gain access quickly.

Review of Top Door Locks for Dementia Patients

Let’s look at a few top-rated door locks suitable for dementia patients:

Lockly Smart Lock

Lockly Secure Plus, Bluetooth Smart Lock, Keyless Entry Door Lock, PIN Genie® Keypad, 3D Biometric Fingerprint Sensor, Auto Lock – Satin Nickel (PGD628FSN) – Latch Edition
  • 【6-IN-1 UNLOCKING METHODS】 LOCKLY smart door lock offers a variety of unlocking methods:Patented PIN Genie digital keypad, 3D biometric fingerprint reader, Smartphone app, Scan-to-Open blue QR code (with the optional Wi-Fi hub), Alexa and Hey Google voice control (with the optional Wi-Fi hub), Physical key. An IPX4 certified versatile smart lock for your home, Airbnb rental property management and offices with high security and reliability.

This lock offers a unique access code system, making it a top priority for many caregivers.

It’s easy to install with basic power tools and provides extra security with its built-in alarm system.

Confounding Door Lock

Door Lock for Home Security (2-Pack) – Easy to Install Door Latch Device, Aluminum Construction| Child Proof & Tamper Resistant, White Door Locks
  • Low-Profile Design Perfect for Renters – Its discreet, low-profile design makes this “barely-there” door reinforcement lock the ultimate guardian for door lock security; A no-hassle installation makes it ideal for both tenants and landlords, and offers peace of mind without damaging or altering most standard door frames; It’s also available in a variety of finishes to blend in and match existing CLT Sangyoge hardware

This lock’s unusual location on the door frame makes it a great choice for dementia patients. It’s durable, reliable, and offers a unique combination of an unusual appearance and high security.

Orangeiot Keyless Deadbolt Lock

OrangeLion Keyless Entry Deadbolt Lock, Electronic Keypad Door Lock, Auto Lock, 1 Touch Locking, 20 User Codes, Easy to Install, Oil Rubbed Bronze
  • Keyless entry; unlocking your door can be a lot easier than fumbling with a key when your arms are full of groceries; this keypad lock provides easy, key-free access to your home using an illuminated, highly responsive keypad; optional mechanical key override lock is available for added security

This double-sided lock requires a code on both sides of the door, providing an extra layer of security. It’s easy to install and comes with a loud alarm feature for added safety.

Schlage Connect Smart Deadbolt

SCHLAGE Connect Century Touchscreen Deadbolt with Built-In Alarm and Handleset Grip with Latitude Lever, Satin Nickel, FE469NX LAT 619 CEN
  • Works with Amazon Alexa for voice control (hub required, Alexa device and hub sold separately)

The Schlage Connect Smart Deadbolt is a Z-wave enabled lock that comes with an alarm and a stylish Camelot Trim.

This advanced lock offers a combination of security and convenience, allowing homeowners to control access to their homes remotely while also providing an alarm system for added safety.

How to Install and Use Door Locks for Dementia Patients

Installing door locks can be a DIY project if you’re handy with power tools.

You can also hire a local locksmith or visit a home improvement center for professional installation.

Once installed, ensure that all family members and caregivers know how to operate the lock.

Other Safety Measures to Consider for Dementia Patients

While door locks are a crucial safety measure, they’re not the only ones. GPS trackers, for instance, can be a lifesaver if a dementia patient manages to leave the house.

The Alzheimer’s Association recommends Project Lifesaver, a GPS device that can help locate a wandering patient quickly.

Motion sensors are another effective technique. 

They can be installed near exit doors – for safety reasons, and will trigger a loud alarm if the door is opened.

Additionally, consider steering wheel locks for cars. If your loved one still has access to car keys, a steering wheel lock can prevent them from driving away unsupervised.

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