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CARENOTES | Past Carenotes | Let's Talk


Welcome to CareNotes. In this special section we will feature a reader's letter and provide an opportunity for an interactive exchange that will help find some answers and possible solutions to concerns. If you wish to respond to this letter, simple follow the link provided at the end of the letter and add your comments and thoughts to our CareNotes Board.

This Week's Carenote - 07/28/15

I am the wife and caregiver for my 83 year old husband who has dementia and is legally blind. At 2:00 or 3:00 every morning he gets up wanting to go to his home. He gets his walker and starts walking up the sidewalk. I get him home and try to get him into the bed to sleep. It is very hard to do. I have Malignant Melanoma and need to take care of myself, but I canít go anywhere without taking my husband with me. I am afraid to leave him alone.


Shared by: Luba
New Jersey

Janet, others have given very good advice but I am going to go a bit further. We all know that a lot of care givers experience guilt associated with care giving. We don't think that we can do enough to help our love ones. You need to heed the advice of the others and make some calls to an Area Agency on Aging to get some help. There are day care centers that you can get your husband into that may help but also, think about going into counseling for yourself for you cancer if you have not done so already. There is such stress associated with care giving even when we are trying to make the best decisions. You might also want to talk to your spouse's hospital social worker for more individualized plan of action. Some people are not candidates for in home help through the state if they make over a certain amount of income but not enough money to afford private duty care.

Shared by: Liz
New York

Please contact your local Office for Aging and the Alzheimers Association. They can assist you in getting assistance in the home and help provide some Respite for you.Also, look into a local Support Group which can be very helpful to network with other caregivers going through the same thing. Remember to take care of yourself first so you can keep on taking care of others!

Shared by: Juan

Using the same holes where your door locks are installed you can replace the lock with a deadbolt lock called Double Cylinder Deadbolts. They require that you use a key on both sides to open and close the door. You keep a key with you at all times and in case of an emergency you should give a copy of the key to someone else. Your husband will not be able to unlock the door without the key. My wife would wait until I'd go to the bathroom to try her escapes, the lock solved my issue. I will pray for you, don't hesitate to ask for help.

Shared by: Sara

Janet, I am not sure where you live, but my suggestion would be to contact your local Area Agency on Aging. I believe that you dial 211 and they will put you in touch with the right people. If that is not the case for where you live, go to and they have a list of agencies that do private duty care and can probably help guide you in the right direction. You can search that website by state to find a company that services your area. I pray that this helps.

Shared by: Joy
Ontario, Canada

Hello: You are in my prayers. My husband has dementia and is in a Long Term Care Facility. Before that, he use to walk into the city to get his driver's license. 14 times the police brought him back. The Alzheimer's Society in Canada have a safety bracelet with information to allow the police to bring him back safely. He also has this at the Nursing Home. Also, maybe you could get someone to come to your house and stay the night and be there for you to get some sleep and keep an eye on your husband when he wants to go all. All the best! lots of hugs.

Shared by: Gloria

Number ONE please put extra locks on all exit doors. If you cannot afford occasional home care contact Aging Services in your area and see what services are available to you. Your health is paramount. You cannot take care of him if you don't get the medical attention and rest that you need.

Shared by: Lynn

People with dementia tend to not look upward; you could have a safety security chain or latch installed on the uppermost corner of the door. We have one, and call it the Grandma Latch, to keep my mother with dementia from wandering. Don't let him sleep during the day or go to bed too early and talk to his doc about melatonin or something to help him sleep through the night.

Shared by: Nadine

Janet, Hi! Thank you! I know space limits what all can say but it would be helpful to know where you live. Are you in a big city or a small rural area? What are the resources in your area? Are there any friends or family members who could spend time with your father while you are away? Are there any adult day care/activity centers he could attend on a daily basis which would be helpful for both of you whether you go anywhere or not that day? Any home health services you or you father's Medicaid could pay for? Is in he need of Hospice care - some hospices have home health aides who could come and be with him while you are gone. Good luck and thank you for caring for your father. Keep up taking care of yourself as well, as you are trying to do.



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