For the past couple of months, mom has been trying to escape the house. She's pretty sneaky too. Some days she waits in the back of the house, sweater on and purse in hand, and then pops around the corner and makes a mad dash for the door before anyone can stop her. Some days she sneaks through the garage door and opens it up and runs out. She has even tried going through the backyard; she can't figure out the lock on the gate but she has actually gone so far as to try and hop the brick wall!!
We've always got to be two steps ahead of mom. After my dad leaves in the morning, he unplugs the garage door opener. The gates are locked; mom's only escape route now is the front door. What we've been doing is guarding the door; as soon as we see mom come down the hall, we park ourselves in front of the door and do not let her through. You can imagine how tedious that task can be...sitting in a chair in front of the door for sometimes hours on end! One day, she was giving my Tia an especially hard time about getting out and my poor Tia was very stressed out. My brother-in-law went over to help her and my mom body slammed him against the wall in an attempt to break free! Guarding the door was obviously a temporary solution as we brainstormed other options.
We thought about putting a lock on the top of the door on the inside. The problem with that would be if mom somehow figured it out; no doubt she'd lock out her caregivers. We attempted a childproof lock-the plastic circle kind that goes over the doorknob. My sister-in-law brought one over on her first day watching my mom. Mom hit that plastic child lock until it finally snapped off the doorknob!
My dad is a pretty smart guy. He came up with a good solution. Duh, why didn't I think of that? (Nevermind the rust on the screen door ;) )
Now, when a caregiver arrives, they have a key to lock themselves inside. Mom doesn't understand the concept of unlocking from the inside, so for now we can rest easy knowing that she can't escape outside without us. Let's hope she doesn't get too creative in finding another way out!