These days, crimes can be unpredictable. It doesn’t matter where you live; the unfortunate thing is that anyone can be a victim of a violent crime, even in his or her own neighborhood or home. Seniors are especially vulnerable to scams and crimes due to their trusting nature, weaker physical capabilities, and even certain routines or traditions that may create opportunities for criminals to act. If you have a loved one who lives alone, it’s important to help them understand certain dangers that may cause them harm.
Here are a few tips that can help keep seniors safe in their own homes.
1. Avoid Routines
Oftentimes, older adults set routines such as going to the bank or the grocery store at the same time on the same day. This may make errands easier for them to remember, but it also makes it easy for criminals to memorize where they will be on certain days or certain times. Unfortunately, having a routine schedule can make seniors vulnerable to people who wish to cause them harm. An alternative would be to switch up the errand days, and maybe ride with a friend or bring someone along to do errands at different times.
2. Ensure Medications are not Visible
Make sure that any prescription medications that your loved one takes are not visible to anyone outside the home. With certain criminals trying to obtain painkillers and other types of pills, it’s important to make sure that your senior loved one is not a target for someone in the drug trade. Ensure that all medications are properly stored away from windows that may make them visible to the outside.
3. Join a Neighborhood Watch Group
Companionship is very important to maintain, especially as we age. If your loved one lives alone, it’s important that they have people close by that they can rely on. This may come in the form of a neighborhood watch group. With this type of association, you can rest a little more easy knowing that others in the neighborhood are extra vigilant regarding your loved one and anything suspicious that comes up.
4. Door Security
Remind your loved one not to open the door for anyone they do not recognize. Many people fall victim to door-to-door scams, or worse, to those who may blatantly cause harm to someone who opens up their home. Always keep doors locked, when home and away. If there is a suspicious person at the door or within sight, make sure your loved one knows to contact the police department.
5. Install an Alarm and/or Camera System
It may also be a good idea to invest in an alarm or camera system for the home. This can provide an extra layer of security at night and while the homeowner is away from the house. If there is an app for the system, you may also be able to monitor the home from your devices.
6. Park Safely
If your loved one still drives, make sure that they have a safe place to park the car that is close to the door and in a well-lit area.
7. Keep Valuables Safe and Locked Away
It might be prudent to arrange for a safety deposit box at a bank to keep important papers and valuables away from the home. Many criminals target seniors for jewelry and other items that are easy to grab, so it may be safer to keep these things outside of the home.
Any crime can cause extreme stress or confusion for anyone, but seniors are especially at risk if they have certain medical conditions. It’s important that you and your loved one are taking precautions to make sure safety is a priority. If your senior relative lives alone and you would like to consider in-home help for health or companionship, please contact us to learn more about the services of our caregivers.
BREAKING NEWS. (n.d.). Retrieved May 18, 2017, from http://www.tribtoday.com/news/local-news/2017/04/tips-help-keep-seniors-safe/