At some point, the person may forget how to unlock the bathroom door. Oftentimes, shouting instructions through the closed door is not helpful. Or they may not be able to get off the toilet or reach the door in an emergency. Caregivers have reported they or the police had to climb up ladders and crawl through windows to rescue a person.
Some had to even break the door down, a terrifying experience for most people with Alzheimer’s or other types of dementia. However, if you plan for emergency access, you’ll be able to get into the room and avoid unnecessary distress.
Removing or taping up the lock will work for some individuals but not others. If the person is accustomed to control and privacy, it’s best to replace the existing lock with a bathroom privacy lock. This type of lock can be unlocked from the outside, usually with a small pin type of key. This allows you to quickly enter the room in an emergency situation.
If your outside bathroom doorknob has a small hole in the center, you probably already have a privacy lock, as illustrated here. This type of lock can be unlocked from the outside, usually with a small pin type of key.