There is one point on which I believe we can all agree – we want to see our loved one safe and sound in their own home. A senior’s health is of utmost importance, and nowhere else is that true than seniors at home. Unfortunately, statistics often show otherwise.
While we have talked quite a bit on this site about in-home safety as far as hazards and things we can do to keep seniors safe around the house, we don’t often mention what can happen when bad people try to cause harm to our loved ones from the outside of their home.
Today we want to take a look at a few ideas we have to keep our senior safe from others who would want to cause them harm or take advantage of them when they are the most vulnerable.
- The first rule of thumb is to never open the door to anyone without checking to see who it is. Always make sure you personally know the person or are familiar with them. Although many homes have a peep hole, many elderly seniors cannot see who is standing outside their door. If at all possible, have a larger spy hole or a small window where they can look out to see who is knocking or ringing their door bell.
- Check to see if there is a neighborhood watch program. Many neighborhoods have them and are mindful of where their vulnerable seniors live. Members are more than willing to keep a special eye on their seniors to help ensure their safety. Many times you will also see local police cruising neighborhoods in an effort to help keep people safe. If you believe someone is a problem, call your local police station and let them know of your concerns.
- Many seniors have a habit of sticking to the same routine every day. A neighbor of ours walks several times a day and always takes the same route each time. If someone is on the lookout to cause harm, it would be very easy for them to note this person’s routine. Vary your routine both time-wise and the route you take to get the mail, pick up the daily paper, or are taking your morning walk.
- One of the best ways to stay safe in your neighborhood is to get to know those around you. Make an effort to get to know your neighbors so that you can better recognize who is new to the area. Also, if you are friends with your neighbors, they will more than likely be much quicker in helping you out and come to your rescue if you find yourself in trouble. If you keep your distance from others, they will do the same with you. It is better to reach out in friendship, for your safety and theirs.
- Be careful where you keep your house keys. Many people keep an extra key or two somewhere outside the door. The obvious places are using under the doormat, hanging from a windowsill, or under a nearby flower pot. Mom and Dad kept a key on a nail at the top of the door just inside the screen door. Everyone among our extended family and friends knew where to find it – and I bet the bad guys could too if they had wanted to.
- If you are going out of town for an extended amount of time, make sure to cancel or postpone your daily newspaper delivery and have the post office hold your mail and packages. There is nothing more obvious to those who are looking to break into a home than to see a stack of mail or papers on the front porch.
- Do not allow anyone into your home if they say they are from your local utility company or Cable Company unless you have made prior arrangements ahead of time. If you have not discussed the time and day of their visit with someone from their office, do not let them in. Without opening the door, try to get their name and badge or employee number, and the phone number of the company. Then call the company yourself to verify their need to enter your home. Nowadays, most repairs can be handled outdoors. Do not let them talk you into letting them in unless you have previously set up an appointment.
We want safety and security for our seniors, especially in their own home. The problem is that minds are not as quick and clear thinking as they used to be and the older they, and we, get the easier it is to be taken advantage of. We must learn and implement what we can do to keep our loved ones safe and sound so the elderly living at home can remain there. We need to educate them and ourselves about the best way to protect our lives. Hopefully, these safe tips will give you a few ideas that you can use.