Personal Safety & Security Tips for Senior Citizens

Crime and the Elderly-Home Security and Financial Advice for Senior Citizens
July 21, 2023
Looking for Love-Tips for Women to Protect Against the Security & Safety Risks of Online Dating
July 21, 2023

Personal Safety & Security Tips for Senior Citizens

As you age, your risk for age-related illnesses and injuries increases. But that’s not all you have to worry about. Senior citizens are also highly susceptible to crimes such as robbery, burglary, home invasions, financial scams, and more. 

In a KTLA5 crime report out of Thousand Oaks, California, five men invaded the home of a couple in their 70s during the night. The intruders gained entry into their home by shattering the glass on their front door. The perpetrators stole several thousand dollars in jewelry. One of the suspects was said to have a gun.

In another more heinous home invasion in Plaquemines, Louisiana, an elderly blind woman was seriously injured after a home intruder broke into her home and attacked her. According to the WDSU News report, the sheriff described the crime as “monstrous and disturbing.” 

Any sort of crime against the elderly is difficult to understand. Nonetheless, they are an unfortunate reality for many senior citizens. But you don’t have to be the next victim. There are things you can do to protect against the heartless thugs that prey on senior citizens. 

Tips to Improve Home Security for Seniors

With over two decades of experience working with residents of all ages, home security expert, Jordan Frankel, knows firsthand the common mistakes senior residents and others make time and time again. Some of those mistakes include inadequate exterior lighting, relying on locked doors and windows as their only form of home security, and investing in second-rate home alarms that they forget to turn on or simply leave off when they get home.

As the Vice President of Global Security Experts, Inc, Mr. Frankel has made it his mission to educate residents on the vulnerabilities of their home’s security and how to adequately protect against home intruders. Whether you are a senior citizen yourself or have an elderly parent or loved one you are concerned about, you can decrease the risk of being targeted by a criminal by incorporating the following home security measures in your life. 

  • Security around Windows and Doors: The most common points of entry for intruders are a home’s windows and doors. This includes LOCKED windows and doors. This is why it is so important to fortify the security around your entry doors and vulnerable ground-level windows. 

To prevent windows from being broken, install a security-grade glass protection film on the interior side of all glass panes, including those on main entry doors and sliding glass doors. For main entry doors such as your front door, install a security door brace. When installed at the base of entry doors that swing inward, a security door brace will prevent your front door from being kicked or busted down by brute force. For  more information on how a security door brace can protect you and your loved ones, watch this OnGARD Security Door brace video

  • Exterior Lighting: Having adequate lighting around your home is important as you age. However, when it comes to lighting around the outside of your residence, your focus should be more on deterring criminals. Not enough light can attract criminals, as they can easily hide among the cloak of darkness. Too much lighting can also give criminals an easy view of the potential entry points of your residence. 

The most effective method for deterring criminals through the use of light is installing outdoor motion sensor lights with bright LED bulbs. Such lights turn on only when they sense movement and the sudden flash of the bright lights can both startle and temporarily blind a would-be intruder, giving him or her reason to retreat. The lights can also serve as an early warning system that someone is outside your home.

  • Home Security Systems: Home security systems such as security alarms and wireless surveillance systems can do more than alert you of an intruder. They can also deter criminals from targeting your home. When selecting a home alarm system, you want to invest in an alarm that has an extremely loud alarm. The system should also have a remote panic button and cellular dialing capabilities so that the monitoring center can be notified even if the power is out. One of the benefits of a wireless surveillance system is that it can alert you of a potential intruder before he or she actually attempts to break into your home. Some important features to look for in such a system are multiple cameras, a built-in DVR for recording video footage, and a portable LCD monitor so you can view live video feed from any room in your home.

Personal Safety and Security Tips for Seniors

Just as installing home security devices around one’s home is important, so is understanding the potential dangers senior citizens face and remaining alert and aware of them at all times. 

Here are a few precautions elderly citizens should implement to reduce their risk of being victimized by a criminal:

  • Keep all windows and doors locked at all times, including when you are home. 
  • NEVER open the door to someone you aren’t expecting, including law enforcement officers, delivery workers, and other service personnel. If you can’t ignore them, keep your door locked and ask the person for their name and the phone number to their organization so you can call and verify their identity. If you ask a person to leave or tell them you are not interested but they continue to linger at your door, call 911 immediately. 
  • NEVER crack the door open or rely on chain locks to see or talk to someone at your door. If you do not have one, install a wide-angle peephole on your door or invest in a wireless home surveillance system so that you can view who is at your door from any room in your home.
  • Keep your garage door closed and make sure all entry doors are kept locked at all times. 
  • Remember to turn your alarm system on each time you leave. You should also keep it on when you are home so that you can be alerted of a security breach the moment it happens.
  • Do not give anyone other than trusted family members and friends a key to your home or the code to your alarm system. Be sure to change your alarm system code every so often.
  • If you use a public laundry facility within your community, have a family member or friend accompany you. This is most important for women. 
  • Park in areas with adequate lighting and avoid dark, secluded areas. 
  • Keep on the lookout for suspicious bystanders and vehicles and report them to the police. 
  • If you live by yourself, find someone you can trust to check in with you on a daily basis either by phone or an in-home visit.
  • To decrease the risk of accidental falls and injuries in your home, remove tripping hazards such as electrical cords, area rugs, and loose flooring. Install proper railings and grab bars in bathrooms, tubs, and shower stalls and ensure your home has adequate lighting. 

The Older You Get, the Wiser You Need to Be with Your Personal Safety & Security

Many of the personal safety and security mistakes senior citizens make are not intentional. However, the devious deeds of criminals who target them are. To reduce your risk of being victimized, use the wisdom you’ve gained from this article and implement the expert advice outlined above so you can enjoy some of the best years to come.