Wireless electronic door monitors, some originally intended for home security use, may be helpful when a person you care for begins to leave home alone, raising the risk of wandering and getting lost. A door monitor is one way of providing a remote caregiver alert that an outside door has been opened. The remote unit may be either battery operated (for portability) or designed to plug into an electrical outlet.
How do the Wireless Doorbells & Monitors Work
These monitors consist of 2 units:
1. The transmitter- mounted on the door and door frame with double-sided tape or screws (included with the products we tested). You need to make sure the door monitor transmitter and its side magnet are placed correctly (no more than 1/4 inch apart and properly lined up) or the product will not work.
2. The remote receiver, which provides an alert to the caregiver- this is plugged into a chosen location or carried with you, depending on the model.
When a monitored door is opened, the transmitter sends a signal to the receiver which provides an alert. You can purchase extra door transmitters for areas of the home that may also need monitoring, like the basement stairs and the front and back doors. You can also use these monitors on a refrigerator door, medicine cabinet, or kitchen cabinet door.
Main differences among the models:
- Volume control and type of alert (chime, alarm or vibration)
- Transmission range from the door to your receiver (75 to 150 feet)
- How the alert is turned off (automatically or manually at the door)
- Plug-in or portable (battery-operated) receiver for caregiver alerts.
An alert may allow you to get to the person’s side in time to accompany them outside or redirect the person from leaving home to another activity. Be sure to test the limits before depending on the device!
Make sure to check the transmission range (between the door and the receiver) may be lower than stated by the manufacturer, depending on the wall thickness and other environmental interference.
Also you should be aware that the alerts take one or two seconds to sound after the door has opened, depending on the model and the type of alert chosen. If the person is in a rush to get out the door, this type of alert may not give you enough advance notice.
Often times there are no low battery warnings on the door transmitter part and the batteries may need to be changed every few months, depending on use (see manufacturer’s instructions). You’ll need to check often to make sure the unit is working and not rely solely on this device to keep a person from wandering (or other unsafe activities).
Door Alarms for Alzheimer and Dementia Patients
As we all know, keeping an eye on a Alzheimer or dementia sufferer can be a daunting task. The danger that they wander out of the door and get lost is always there. That is why it is crucial you get to know the care receiver’s habits as they are all different.
Some people like to go wandering after they read their morning newspaper, others do so after they have had their dinner. Often times those habits are so ingrained in their previous lives that they will be impossible to change.
This is where the door alarms come in. They can be helpful in keeping the track on your loved one. You may want to use this product along others, e.g., high and/or low sliding locks or a standard chain lock installed high or low. A chain lock may give you more time to get to the door, as the alert will sound when the door is partially opened, but the chain lock must be removed before they can exit.
These systems are not fail-proof and may not always work (even with charged batteries), so use multiple strategies when trying to prevent falls or wandering.
Below you’ll find two door monitors that we’ve tested along with specific Pros and Cons for each product. We only tested products that offer a remote alert option, as alerts that only sound at the door can be upsetting to individuals with dementia.
You can also use motion sensors near the door to monitor the activity of the person you care for.
1.Wireless Door Monitor with Plug-In Caregiver Receiver Alert ( Lamson Home Care)
This wireless door monitor system comes with a battery-operated door transmitter and a plug-in caregiver receiver for alerts (plugs into a standard wall outlet). The manufacturer claims that transmission range is 150 feet.
The battery is included and already installed in the transmitter.
- Pleasant Chime. When set on CHIME and a monitored door is opened, the tone or melody you’ve chosen sounds for one to five seconds and then automatically shuts off. (There is also an alarm sound setting.)
- Caregiver alert volume control – low and high (though the switch is not labeled on the alert device). Volume for chime and alarm provides comfortable (not deafening) tones.
- You can purchase additional units (door transmitter or remote caregiver receiver) if you want additional coverage.
- When set on Alarm, there is a two-second delay for the alarm to sound, which may not be enough advance notice.
- When set on the ALARM tone and a monitored door is opened, the remote caregiver receiver sounds an alarm for four minutes or it must be manually turned off at the door transmitter by switching the setting to the Chime position. Then you must switch it back to the alarm setting to continue using the alarm setting, as there is no on/off setting.
- You may need several caregiver alerts in different locations to hear the alert, depending on the size of your home.
- The plug-in caregiver receiver is for indoor use only. You can’t take it into the garden, for example. (Depending on environmental conditions, a battery- operated device may work outdoors.)
- Flathead screwdriver
- Small Phillips head screwdriver
2. Wireless Door Monitor with Battery-Operated Caregiver Receiver Alert (SafeGuard)
This wireless door monitor system comes with a battery-operated door transmitter and a battery-operated caregiver receiver that clips onto a belt or waistband. The manufacturer claims that the transmission range is up to 100 feet. The alarm sounds for as long as the door is open and then automatically turns off. You can have up to three door monitors using one remote caregiver receiver in the same house, but the components are not sold separately; the monitor and the receiver are only sold as a package. 9V battery is not included!
- Two alerts to choose from – vibrating or audio alert
- It’s portable – you can take the caregiver receiver with you throughout the house, and even outdoors, as long as you stay within the 100-foot transmission range. Test to make sure you can get the signal, as transmission ranges vary depending on environmental conditions.
- The audio alert is called a “chime” by the manufacturer. In reality, its a high pitched beeping sound.
- There is no volume control – unfortunate as the alarm sound can be a bit jarring.
- Although the vibrate alert is a nice option, you’ll need to test each time you want to use this function, as your sensitivity to vibration can be influenced by the clothing you are wearing and how close to your body the receiver is placed.
3. Zmodo-Smart Greet – Wi-Fi Video Doorbell
This Zmodo Smart Greet Doorbell is all about bringing you ease. You can see your porch and visitors that approach online or on your smartphone app. With this WiFi video doorbell, you can see talk and hear whoever come to your door.
Also, this device is easy to set up and connect to your WiFi. The wide-angle HD lens allows you to get a super quality view of the whole space. Amazingly, your Smart Greet Doorbell will alert you once it sees a movement plus it records the scene too. It detects motion because it has a PIR sensor which allows it to perform that function accurately.
The motion alert clips get stored for free in the Zmodo Cloud Service for 36 hours. But, once you move to the paid plan, you will have the full recordings stored for you which you can save, share or preview anytime. This feature has also a cloud intelligence support to avoid false alerts.
Another fantastic feature of this device is that you can customize a voice message. This means you do not even have to answer the door in person. Your voice message will play after the door rings. Even when you are away from home, you can leave a message for the delivery man, and he’ll know what to do with the package.
- Smart night vision
- Motion detection feature
- Limited false alerts
- Allows for customized voice messages
- Comes with a 60-day return policy
- Recordings are not in HD
- Continuous payment (7 or 30 Days subscription to access video)
4. Remo+Remo-Bell WiFi Wireless Video-Doorbell
If you are a lover of ease and comfort, then you will love this product.
This video doorbell works together with the mobile app, which enables you to hear and talk to your visitors when they ring your doorbell. All you need is your smartphone. As someone approaches your door, you will get an alert and a video feed to show you who it is.
Also, this device uses a battery to power itself. Its wireless and WiFi connection allows you to communicate with visitors from your smartphone. It gives you a live video feed of guests approaching your door which is in 720p HD video quality.
Furthermore, this video doorbell has an advanced motion sensor to detect movements around your door. This will ensure you will know what happens in your doorway. Even at night, the infrared night vision feature of this device makes sure, you will not miss anything suspicious. You can watch the recordings from your RemoBell app.
The unit is nicely built and attractive. It is easy to install and to operate.
- Infrared night vision for a better view at night
- Advanced motion sensor to detect movements by the doorway
- High-quality 720p HD video live feed
- Battery powered device
- Wireless and WiFi connectivity
- Poorly built mounting bracket
- Alerts are only on the phone, no bell or buzzer
5. Home Security Expandable-Wireless Door-Open Chime Door-Entry alarm
Here is a door entry alarm that goes off when your door is opened. This is a cost-effective alternative to providing adequate security and protection for your family. Burglars won’t go unnoticed since your door entry alarm will go off instantly.
The Home Security Expandable-Wireless Door-Open Chime-Door Entry alarm requires no wiring before you can use it. All you need to do is plug the portable receiver into a standard outlet and stick the adhesive tapes to the door or window. It is very straightforward and effortless to install. The mini contact sensor is portable enough to be connected to any indoor position.
Additionally, its wireless receiver has a full working range in an open area of up to 600 feet. Once the device is separated due to the door or window being opened, the magnetic door sensor will instantly prompt the receiver, and an alarm will go off immediately.
This device comes with 52 rare chimes with LED light indicator plus four volume levels. The volume range is between 30 and 130 dB. You may set your volume as high as you may need. With the unique ringtones, LED light indicator and its volume range, you can personalize your doorbell to suit your taste.
Furthermore, every one of the wireless receivers can work with a maximum of twenty transmitters while the transmitters can add more receivers. The remote control of the device has a working power of 10mw. The product package comes with two door sensor; the magnetic stripe and the transmitting part, two button battery and a user manual.
- Requires a wireless installation
- Features unique chimes and LED light indicator
- Four volume alarm level
- Comes with a manual
- Easy to install
- Ringtones might not be pleasant enough for you
6. CROSSPOINT! Expandable Wireless Doorbell Alert-System
Do you want a doorbell you can rely on? With Crosspoint Expandable Wireless Doorbell Alert System, you will get exactly that. This is an extremely popular and well-reviewed product that comes with over 50 unique and loud ringtones for you to choose from. Apart from its reliable performance, it is attractive and easy to install. It comes in beautiful black, white and beige color with a gloss finish.
The doorbell system is expandable. Thus, you can design your system to meet your needs. The home-alert network comes with over 20 additional transmitters, receivers and motion/door sensors.
The product package comes with two remote transmitter buttons (waterproof), two plugin receivers, two button brackets, A23 battery, some screws, anchors and two-sided stickers. With the waterproof nature of the buttons, this product is also perfect for outdoor use.
With its unique ringtones, you can assign different tones for each transmitter. Hence, when any one is triggered, you will know exactly which one it is. This feature makes this product perfect for multi-entry homes. The volume of the alarm has four levels, ranging from 25db to 110db.
Installation requires no new wiring. All you need to do is to plug the receiver into a standard outlet. It comes with mounting hardware and tools to make the installation as easy as possible. The range of operation for this device is 500 feet (1000 feet in open area).
- Waterproof buttons perfect for outdoor use
- Attractive design and color
- Comes with basic tools for easy installation
- Suitable for multi-entry structures
- Over 50 unique and loud chimes
- Lacking in sound quality
- The manual is a bit complicated
7. Cal-To-U Wireless-Door OpenChime
If you want a door open chime for your home, store, dorm, office or whatever building you wish to secure cost-effectively, Call-To-U Wireless-Door OpenChime is the product for you. This door entry alarm will alert you when intruders are getting into your home through door or window, thanks to the door/window contact sensors.
The plugin receiver works in any standard outlet. Furthermore, you have up to 55 chimes to select from. You can choose different ringtones for different doors or windows in the house. As for its volume, you can adjust it as it comes in five different levels. The range of the volume starts from 1db up to 110db. Additionally, the operating range of the device can reach up to 500 feet in an open area.
Also, another fantastic thing about this product is how easy it is to change the ringtone. All you need to do is use the receiver’s forward and backward buttons to select your favorite Chime. After that, you need to hold down the volume button to get a ding sound while you watch out for a flash from the receiver-indicator, and voila! You are done!
- Easy to install and set up
- Consumes minimal power
- Comes it more than 50 ringtones
- Operation range of 500 plus feet
- Comes with five levels of adjustable volume
- The product comes with no manual
8. Proteus-DXDX – WiFi Door-Sensor
If you are unable to go for the high end and expensive security systems Proteus-DXDX – WiFi Door-Sensor is one of the options that does not come with a crazy price tag. Yet, this it is packed with good features that will ensure your safety at all times.
You can simply connect the sensor to your WiFi and input your email address. Whenever your door status changes, you will receive alert notifications from Proteus. It also can send text notifications and local audible alerts which can go to different contacts of your choice.
The base unit and the door switch sensor connects with a 2t feet cable which comes with the product and the interface makes it quite straightforward to install and set up.
- Requires no monthly payments
- Requires no hubs or gateways
- Effortless installation
- Allows for alerts on multiple emails and contacts
- Requires no app installation
- Hardwired from door to WiFi base unit, i.e., it is not wireless
The listing of these products is for informational purposes and individuals must use their own caution and judgment when using these resources. Functional levels and changes in judgment and reasoning are highly variable in people with dementia. Interventions must be individualized and continually assessed because those that are effective for some individuals may only work briefly and may not work at all for others.
Product Selection Criteria
Our goal is to teach you how to be a good consumer and to help you learn about specific products and unique product features that may enhance your safety and the safety and function of the person with dementia. The products shown in This Caring Home serve as examples only. Manufacturers continually change product specifications and the products represented may be different from those now on the market.
We realize this is not an all-inclusive list. Products featured in This Caring Home were chosen for one or more of the following reasons:
- Color selection
We encourage you to discuss product selection with other caregivers and healthcare professionals.