With the population living longer and longer, it’s important that we are keeping our loved one safe. Unfortunately, seniors in our communities have become a target for crime due to their vulnerability. If you have a parent or even a grandparent who may be vulnerable, we’ve put together a list of things you may like to talk to them about in order to keep them safe from crime in their home.
Don’t open the door immediately
It may seem like common sense but we all do it. Opening the door to strangers without inquiry into who they are or why they’re visiting can be dangerous. Installing a peep-hole or intercom may be a good idea to enable the homeowner to see who’s behind the door before opening up. Incorporating this check into a senior’s routine will help avoid forced entry.
Lock your doors and windows
Again, an elementary concept but something that is often forgotten or not payed enough heed. 75% of all burglaries involving elderly people were a result of unlocked doors or windows. One reminder to keep at the forefront is to lock your garage door. This is often something that gets brushed aside but, not only is one of your parent or grandparent’s most valuable assets stored in the garage — their car — it also often provides access to the home.
Leave your lights on when you leave your home at night
Not only will this help upon return, giving the illusion that someone is home could be just the thing needed to ward of prospective theirs. You can take this one step further by installing timers to turn your lights on and off when you’re away for more than one night.
Cancel deliveries when you go away
Abandoned parcels on your doorstep can be a tell-tale sign that no-one is home, while newspapers and an overflowing mailbox can also give the impression that the home is unoccupied. If you don’t want to cancel any deliveries, an easier option may be to ask a neighbour to collect your mail or arrange for it to be held at the Post Office until your return.
Do not hide your keys under the mat
Everyone knows that the most common place for a spare key is under the mat. Don’t leave yourself, your parent or your grandparent open to be taken advantage of by keeping your spare keys in such an obvious spot. If you must have a spare key, hide it somewhere obscure in a lockbox or, better yet, befriend a neighbour and leave it with them.