A Home Safety Crime That is All Too Common
Unfortunately, crime has undoubtedly evolved over the last few decades. Today’s trespassers have widely turned to scams, hacking, or fraud to obtain the money and/or personal information they are seeking – generally through digital methods. Thankfully, public awareness and education on scams and cybercrime has grown substantially, granting us the opportunity to become safer, smarter, and more secure consumers. But, for every sophisticated criminal, there will always be the one who chooses to go the old school route of home burglary.
Although it may not receive the same news coverage as cybercrime these days, burglary is still immensely prevalent in the United States, with a distressing 2.5 million home intrusions committed each year. That equates to approximately one home invasion every 13 seconds. So, as important as it is to watch what we click online, it’s equally crucial that we secure our homes from outside threats. This is especially the case for elderly adults, whose homes are often prime targets for burglars. While seniors can be more vulnerable to this type of victimization because of certain factors – declining physical/cognitive function and limited communication being the primary components – there are steps they can take to protect what’s most important to them and continue living safely and independently.
Here are some of the most recommended home security tips that senior clients and their family members can follow to safeguard not only their home but also their own personal well-being.
Home Security Tips for Seniors
Install a home security system: Studies show that burglars tend to stay away from homes that have a home security system installed. These days, there are plenty of security solution providers to choose from, so be sure to research thoroughly. Most security companies will give stickers to put on the home’s doors and windows, notifying thieves that a system is installed. Some of the best home security systems for senior living include
ADT - ADT offers custom-designed home alarm systems with landline or cellular connections available. Protection packages include motion sensors, video doorbells, and home security cameras.
Vivint - Vivint offers professional installation with packages that combine home security with home automation.
Frontpoint - Frontpoint offers DIY installation with a 30-day, money-back guarantee. Professional monitoring is included with every system.
SimpliSafe - SimpliSafe offers flexibility with no monthly costs or long-term contract agreements, with easy DIY installation of motion detector packages.
- Keep the doors locked: It’s natural to let our guard down, especially when living in a safe neighborhood – but seniors should remember that crime knows no bounds. All doors that lead outside or into the entryway including garage doors, should be locked at all times, day and night.
- Provide your loved one with a smartphone: A smartphone connected to home wi-fi is essential for seniors to have in case of medical emergencies and break-ins. Additionally, a smartphone can be used to access the control panels of any smart devices that are installed and offer mobile app capability.
- Close the blinds as often as possible: Burglars will typically look through windows of homes they’re interested in robbing. Cutting off their visibility into the home can discourage them from proceeding.
- Remove tools from the yard: Ensure that any tools (screwdrivers, hammers, ladders) that can assist burglars in getting into the house are kept inside and out of view.
- Don’t announce travel plans: When it comes to travel plans, whether short-term or extended, seniors should do their best to keep it to themselves or just a few trusted people (e.g., family and neighbors). Talking about travel publicly or discussing it on social media should be avoided at all costs.
- Invest in smart home devices: Voice-activated virtual assistants such as Amazon's Alexa can not only provide elderly people with in-home assistance but companionship as well. Smart locks such as Schlage's Z-wave technology door locks or others with digital keypads are also great for seniors seeking enhanced door security. Automated thermostats such as the Nest allow seniors to easily change the temperature without even having to get up. And, smart smoke alarms such as the First Alert 2-in-1 combination Smoke Detector & Carbon Monoxide Alarm are a must for senior homes.
- Store personal information in a safe place: In the tragic scenario that your home is broken into, the last thing you want is for the burglar to get ahold of personal information. It's important to store any passports, birth certificates, financial statements, and other sensitive documents in a locked safe.
- Request home security advice from the police: Seniors can also contact their local police department and have them come out to the home to provide home security system suggestions and information on crime in the neighborhood.
Comfort Keepers of Greater Cleveland Can Help
At Comfort Keepers of Greater Cleveland, we understand just how important home is to you and your family members. After all, it’s more than just a place in which we live; it’s a safe haven and an extension of ourselves. We know that assisted living isn't a favorable option for everyone. Our caregivers can help senior clients maintain peace and happiness in their own home by encouraging them to follow the above tips on home security systems and other security precautions, all while giving you peace of mind. Additionally, we can provide everything from meal preparation, mobility assistance, and transportation to and from locations in and around town.
For more information about Comfort Keepers of Greater Cleveland’s wide array of in-home care services as well as our medical alert systems and emergency response systems, contact us today at (440) 838-5460.