Purchasing a home security system can be a great investment for a variety of reasons. However, if you have elderly relatives, there may be some unexpected reasons to install such a system - even if you believe they live in a relatively safe area.

It may be difficult for older people to recognize that they can no longer care for themselves like they used to. It seems like we spend our entire lives finally learning how to take care of ourselves physically, emotionally, and financially, only to slowly lose these capacities as we age. While it may be a cruel irony, aging is a fact of life. When evaluating the home security needs of elderly relatives, we have to make a realistic account of what they are still capable of doing, and of the reverse, without any regard to the way things "used to be." Unfortunately, to protect our loved ones, it is sometimes necessary to look at things with a clinical eye.

Even if older people are insistent that they are still totally capable of doing all the things that they used to do, they also need to acknowledge how they look to the outside world. Elderly people are often seen as frail, slow-witted, and out of touch with the current realities of how the world works. For all these reasons, they are often seen as easy targets by criminals, especially when living alone. One would think that all the life experience of older people would actually produce the opposite effect in criminals. It's not hard to imagine that an older person might have been through one or several break-ins earlier in their life, actually making them more prepared for crime than younger people moving into their first apartment. One might also think that because older people may believe that the bulk of their lives are behind them, they might be more inclined to take riskier actions to prevent a break-in or stop one in progress, thus making retaliation against a burglar more likely. The criminal mind, however, is not necessarily built to handle logic. Again, above all, it is most important to be realistic about elderly relatives' security needs.

When discussing a home alarm system with an elderly relative, in addition to hitting the above points, it might be helpful to discuss the home monitoring aspect that is typically a part of these systems. Older people often face risks doing day to day tasks that younger people would not even think twice about doing. A miscalculated reach for a pot or pan might cause a debilitating fall; a forgetful "senior moment" might lead to an overheated iron setting fire to the drapes; and well, anyone with an aging parent could probably run through a million other nightmare scenarios. A security system can literally be a life-saver for an elderly relative, and indeed for anyone who needs a little assistance caring for themselves from day to day.

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