Even for seniors who have lived in their homes for decades or who live in neighborhoods known to be safe, no home is 100% safe from the possibility of a break-in. Unfortunately, seniors' homes are often the target of criminals; not only are aging seniors at an increased risk of a burglary, but financial scams as well. As home caregivers offering a variety of services for Bay Area seniors, we have a few safety tips that will help reduce the risk of your becoming the target of a property crime.
First, use common sense. When someone rings the doorbell or knocks, take your cell phone with you so that you can call 911 if you feel you're in danger. You may also want to consider a dog. Whether an indoor or outdoor pet, intruders are less likely to target a home with a dog. While you may think it's safe to leave an extra key to your home under the doormat or a flower pot, these are the first places a criminal will look. Instead, have a neighbor or friend you trust keep an extra key for you.
If you're traveling, don't make it apparent that no one is home. A mailbox jammed full of mail and newspapers piled on the driveway are clear indicators that no one is home! Have a neighbor retrieve your mail and newspapers if you'll be away for a few days.
Security systems and structural components of your home
Above all else, have a security system installed! This is not only important in the event that you become a target of a criminal, but also for other reasons, including a medical emergency or fire. Authorities will be alerted immediately, possibly saving your life.
Never leave doors or windows unlocked. While you may feel completely safe in your community, it's never a good idea to leave windows or doors unlocked. Make sure everything is locked up, including gates on your property.
If you don't have a peephole in your entrance door, have one installed. You need to be able to see who is at the door before you open it - and looking out the front window near the door isn't a good idea, as whoever is at the door will know you're inside.
Solid wood or metal doors for front and back entrances are the most secure, and you'll want to avoid an entrance door with decorative glass as it can be broken out for easy access to your home. If you must have glass, choose safety glass. Glass also makes it possible for potential intruders to see you moving about inside your home.
Any trees or shrubs close to the entrance doors should be kept trimmed so they're not a possible "hiding place" for intruders.
Have sensor lights installed on the outside of your home, as this will scare most would-be intruders away.
Security for seniors is highly important. By doing a few simple things, you can make your home safer and more secure, giving you peace of mind and protecting your safety.
At Care Indeed, our Bay Area in home caregivers are dedicated to helping seniors with all of their needs while providing companionship as well. Whether to help with household tasks, taking medications, hygiene, running errands, or even staying overnight or attending doctor appointments, we provide a wide array of services designed to make the lives of seniors easier.