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Limit Wandering With a Dementia Door Alarm

Written by Haleigh Behrman
 about the author
9 minute readLast updated November 16, 2023

Older adults living with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia may experience feelings of confusion or disorientation that can cause them to wander away from their home or caregiver in search of something familiar. If you’re caring for a loved one with dementia who wanders or tries to leave the house, a dementia door alarm is an excellent option to keep them safe. Read on to learn more about the security benefits of home door alarms for dementia, different types of wandering alarms for dementia patients, and some of the top-rated Alzheimer’s door alarm products available.

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Benefits of dementia door alarms

Door security for dementia patients is commonly achieved through the use of locks or alarms. While locking mechanisms can help keep a loved one from wandering outside, there’s also the concern of how someone would be able to get out of the house in the event of a fire or other emergency. An alarm, on the other hand, can allow a person to exit and also signal that they need assistance.
Some other benefits of door alarms for dementia patients include:
  • Maximizing safety. Wandering can be incredibly dangerous and puts seniors with dementia at a greater risk of falls, fractures, and injuries.[01] Once installed, the alarm will alert you when your loved one opens the door, so you know when to check on them and can better keep them from wandering outside.
  • Preserving independence. A door alarm can help your loved one maintain their independence by letting them go about their day more freely, without constant oversight.
  • Enabling more efficient care. The unpredictability and risks that accompany wandering can cause significant stress for caregivers and family members. Alarms help ensure that you can be there when your loved one needs you instead of constantly watching over them. This can give you time to tend to other care-related tasks, such as food preparation, booking appointments, and keeping up with housekeeping and laundry needs.

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Different types of home door alarms for dementia

Among the variety of door alarms available for seniors with dementia, different features help you monitor your loved one’s whereabouts, alert you when they need assistance, and keep them from opening certain doors.
Here are some of the different types of specifically designed door alarms for elderly dementia patients:
  • Magnetic door alarms sound off when a door opens and disconnects the magnet from the sensor/switch.
  • Keypad locks require a specific code to lock and unlock a door, and some models can notify a caregiver of any door activity with beeps and LED lights.
  • Floor sensor mats have a sensor pad on the floor that triggers an alarm when someone steps on it.
  • GPS alert systems provide location tracking and send immediate alerts when someone moves outside of a predetermined “safe” area.
  • Remote alarms sound away from the door to notify the caregiver without startling the person trying to exit.
  • String alarms activate when a door opens and detaches a magnet-positioned string from the alarm on the door frame.

The best door alarms for dementia patients

Choosing the right alarm system to provide door security for dementia patients can be overwhelming. We’ve compiled a list of some of the best door alarms for Alzheimer’s patients on the market, and we’ve highlighted some of the pros and cons of each to help make your decision easier.

Lewis N. Clark Travel Door Alarm

The Lewis N. Clark Travel Door Alarm is a versatile and portable string alarm that can be a great option to use at home and when traveling with a loved one who has dementia. Simply set the device’s two prongs in the space between a door and its frame, and it will sound off when the alarm is triggered. It can also be used to alarm windows.
Additional features include:
  • Installation-free setup
  • Fairly low price
  • Portable design
Some of the common cons reported include:
  • Alarm may not be loud enough
  • Incompatibility with certain door types
Where to buy: Lewis N. Clark’s Travel Door Alarm is available on Amazon for $15.99.

GE Personal Security Window/Door Alarm

The GE Personal Security Window/Door Alarm is a magnetic door alarm that can be installed on any door and window in your home. The 120-decibel alarm quickly — and loudly — alerts you if your loved one opens an armed door or window.
Additional features include:
  • Three modes: alarm, chime, and off
  • Battery operated
  • Built-in battery life checker
  • Tool-free installation
Some of the common cons reported include:
  • Immediate shut-off after door closes
  • Alarm shrillness can cause discomfort for loved ones and caregivers
Where to buy: The GE Personal Security Window/Door Alarm can be purchased from Walmart for around $30.

Fosmon WaveLink 51007HOM Wireless Door Alarm

The Fosmon WaveLink is a complete door alarm system that includes a sensor and transmitter to detect a door opening as well as a receiver to sound the alarm. The receiver even features an LED indicator to alert those with hearing loss. The device offers a coverage area of up to 400 square feet and 58 tones to choose from, making it a good front door alarm for dementia patients.
Additional features include:
  • Easy installation
  • Stated lifetime guarantee
  • Volume control setting
One of the common cons reported include:
  • Some reviews claim that the alarm suddenly stops working
Where to buy: The Fosmon WaveLink is available on Amazon for $19.99.

Wsdcam Wireless Anti-Theft Door and Window Alarm

The Wsdcam Wireless Door Alarm is a multipurpose device with a remote controller that can connect to multiple alarms in the home. The 105-decibel alarm is loud enough to get your attention if your loved one sets it off. This alarm can be installed on both sliding and hinged doors and windows.
Additional features include:
  • Battery operated
  • Four modes: arm, disarm, panic, and doorbell
  • Easy installation
One of the common cons reported include:
  • Intense volume level, even in doorbell mode
Where to buy: The Wsdcam Wireless Door Alarm is available on the Wsdcam website for $11.99.

SECRUI M508+D7 Door Chime

The SECRUI Door Chime has ample coverage with a 500-foot operating range. The device’s volume can be set up to 100 decibels, and its compact size makes it easy to install on any door or window.
Additional features include:
  • 52 chime options
  • Volume control
  • Easy installation
  • LED indicators for those with hearing impairments
Some of the common cons reported include:
  • Electrical outlet required for receiver
  • Incompatibility with some older door frames
  • Higher price compared to other options listed above
Where to buy: SECRUI’s Door Chime is available on Amazon and starts at $27.99.

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Keeping your loved ones safe and protected

Everyone living with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia is at risk for wandering, according to the Alzheimer’s Association.[02] Although completely preventing wandering can be challenging, having a safety plan in place and using specially designed door alarms for seniors with dementia can help you reduce this risk and give you peace of mind.
If a door alarm isn’t a workable solution on its own, consider pairing it with other safety products for loved ones with dementia. For example, location devices give caregivers the ability to track dementia patients from virtually any location. In-home care services can also provide extra supervision and support for a senior with dementia who’s prone to wandering.
Depending on the severity of a loved one’s wandering behavior and safety risks, it may be wise to consider a move to memory care. Memory care communities are equipped to provide 24-hour supervised care, with facility layouts and features specifically designed to minimize wandering and keep residents safe. Our local Senior Care Advisors can help connect you with memory care communities in your area and answer any questions you may have if you decide to explore this option.


  1. Ali, N., Luther, S. L., Volicer, L., Algase, D., Beattie, E., Brown, L. M., Molinari, V., Moore, H., & Joseph, I. (2016, April 31). Risk assessment of wandering behavior in mild dementia. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry.

  2. Alzheimer’s Association. Wandering.

Meet the Author
Haleigh Behrman

Haleigh Behrman is a copywriter at OurParents. She focuses on senior living community types and services, healthy aging, and caregiving tips and trends. Before joining OurParents, she managed several community-focused print publications and a wedding magazine. She earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Kansas.

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