How to Keep People with Dementia Safe – from Unwanted Callers

By Jane Verity © dementiacareinternational

Have you ever worried about uninvited people ringing your door bell and either gaining access to your home, or coercing the person with dementia into signing up for ‘great’ sales deals while you are away from the house? Or do you worry about unsolicited phone calls where the caller may represent an organisation seeking donations and the good-hearted person with dementia could promise to donate large sums of money. If so, here are some suggestions on how to overcome these concerns.

To Stop Uninvited Visits

To avoid uninvited people ringing your doorbell, type an A4 size sign to be placed just above the doorbell – where there is no excuse for not seeing it – with the following text.

Please respect this request.
You will be rejected –
so please don’t be offended

The text on this sign was created in close consultation with local police and has proven so successful in the case tested that the person has not had one single uninvited person ring her doorbell since the sign went up.

Just in case someone does ring the doorbell, another large sign can be created and placed inside the front door – on the wall close to the doorhandle. Here is the suggested text:

Keep all strangers OUTSIDE your front door.
When someone you don’t know rings the doorbell say:

I refer to the sign above the doorbell.
I am not interested.

When you write these signs, remember to use Font: Times New Roman, Bold, minimum size 26 and print with black ink on white paper. The outside sign is best laminated to protect it from the elements.

To Stop Unsolicited Phone Calls

The number of unsolicited phone callers seeking donations and participation in surveys is forever increasing. Not only can these calls be distressing for people with dementia, because they don’t always understand what the call is about, but they can prove very costly.

The simplest way to put a stop to these calls is to change your phone number to a silent one. Just remember to give the new number to family, friends and any care persons or relevant organisations.

Safe Identification

Here is another good idea to keep the person with dementia as safe as possible should he or she become lost in public. Write an information card that will fit inside a wallet or handbag. Record contact names and phone numbers on the card, but ONLY those who are closely involved with the person. Never, ever, list the person’s own name and address. Then if someone finds the person lost somewhere, the finder can phone one of the people on the list and arrange for the person to be picked up. In this way, you can avoid someone with less integrity discovering where the person lives, especially if that is independently and alone.