Nighttime Wandering Case Study
Helping sisters get sleep and manage nighttime wandering
Sisters Mary and Sheila lived across the hallway from each other in a downtown Halifax apartment building. For Mary, a good night’s sleep was hard to come by since Sheila started wandering at night. Mary would stay up late into the night, listening for the familiar sound of Sheila’s door to open. Mary was always on hyper-alert, worried that if she went to sleep she wouldn’t hear her sister leave and that she would get confused and lost by herself. In fact there was one case where Sheila was brought home by the police when she was found wandering about the North End of Halifax not knowing where she was.
In talking with Mary and Sheila and assessing their situation, Northwood Intouch suggested Door Contacts as a system for Mary to be able to monitor and hear Sheila’s night wandering. A door contact was installed on Sheila’s apartment door, and the base unit placed in Mary’s bedroom. Now, when Sheila wandered during the night, Mary was guaranteed to hear the alarm and able to go and assist her sister.
In this case the benefit of the door contact was two-fold as it provided Mary the peace of mind to sleep during the night knowing that she would be woken by the Door Contact alarm, and the door contact also provided a tracking system for Sheila’s behavior. Because the unit logs each instance of activation (opening the door), Sheila’s health care provider was able to have a clear picture of Sheila’s wandering patterns and this information was vital in providing new and credible information for future diagnosis and treatment.
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*The names and identifying details have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals.