Many seniors are fearful of being a victim of a crime and many actually will not leave their homes after dark and many, just don’t leave their homes unless they have too. Realizing that as we age, we often are more defenseless and vulnerable to attack adds to the fears.
Fear of theft or burglary often results in living in fear, isolation, and loneliness for many seniors but it doesn’t have to be that way!
Here are ideas to help keep seniors safer from burglary and theft:
- An alarming increase crime against seniors is medication theft.
Be aware when leaving a pharmacy and put your prescription bag into another bag of purchases or ask for a bag. Be very aware of people approaching you while going to your car.
Most crimes committed to get obtain a senior’s medications occurs from someone knowing what medications are already being taken, especially if they are pain medications (Oxys, Perks, Codeine, etc.), Valium, Viagra, and Ritalin. Many of the crimes for medications can become violent too.
Safety depends on bringing your medications home but then limiting who knows what types of medications you take. Most often, it is word of mouth to the wrong people that instigates the crime.
2. Often, as we age, ground maintenance is harder to do and the home is more likely to have mature landscaping which can invite burglary. Here are just a few tips to keep anyone safer in their homes.
Make sure growth is away from doors and windows, ask your town police to evaluate how to improve the safety of your home – inside and out. Make sure all windows lock, that you have a deadbolt on outside doors, install motion sensing lights (great for burglary defense but also for mobility safety), install a security system that includes a panic button that can be worn, install a chain on the door to talk to visitors through, get a dog, make sure the home shows signs of activity and visitors, and have unpredictable routines.
If a spare key is kept outside, make sure it is in an unexpected location and not near the door. When entering your home, first be very aware of any people around who could approach you in the time it takes for you to unlock and get into your home. Carrying groceries and other purchases can slow down us down, when we’re already moving more slowly than someone half our age. Going back and forth to a vehicle for purchases is an opportunity for someone to enter your home, steal your car, steal your pursue, or do other harm. Be aware!
Have a plan of what to do and where to go if you hear someone breaking into your home; you can replace things but not your life or harm done to you.
3. Here are some ideas to ponder that are more non-traditional:
Most seniors realize that they have poorer self-defense capabilities. So get a group of seniors together and ask a local self-defense instructor to give a class on self-defense for seniors that includes how to maximize the environment, physical and mental abilities, and more. Fun, social, educational, will lessen fear, less likely to become victimized, and peace of mind for family. Why not have a family member attend too to have a practice partner long-term?
As I’m aging, being able to keep up with the knowledge of new innovations and electronics is difficult, let alone being able to use them! There is a plethora of devices, tools, systems, services, and more available (and growing daily) that can help increase the specific safety needs of any senior – check them out.
If you are planning on doing a large shopping expedition, go with a friend and help each other unload each other’s purchases safely. It does mean an extra trip but that is worth your safety. If you don’t want or have a friend to take, make arrangements with a neighbor to be available to either help unload your purchases or watch (obvious from the road) you while you unload. Have a garage? Always unload only after the garage door is securely shut, then leave your car and unload.
Safety in today’s society is something everyone has to take more seriously and to take more proactive action on. The old adage, “Better safe than sorry” still holds true.
What will be your next steps to ensure your safety or the safety of the senior in your life?