Senior citizens are one of the most vulnerable populations in the United States today. More and more often, elderly people are the targets of scams, burglaries, and home invasions simply because seniors are perceived as weak. Criminals believe they can be easily subdued, leaving them to take whatever they want from the house. Fortunately, there are some steps that can be taken to make senior citizens safer in their homes.
First, install strong locks and deadbolts on any door that leads to the outside of the house. Windows should also be equipped with locks. If you do not know which locks are best for seniors, visit a home improvement store that can give you tips about locks that are easy to operate but will keep you secure at the same time. This step simply cannot be skipped. Flimsy locks are the cause of many break-ins, so do not neglect them in your own home. If you are going to spend any money on home security, this is where to do it.
Install motion lighting outside the home. Criminals look for dark homes to hit since they are less likely to be detected if they can hide in the shadows. Ensure that your shrubbery is trimmed back and any trees are trimmed so that you can see through your windows to the outside. Again, burglars will use any advantage they have to get inside your house, so don't make it easy for them by allowing your yard to become overgrown.
One of the best ways to protect seniors is to install a home security system. Most systems come with 24-hour monitoring for a monthly fee, which can give the senior and his or her family members added peace of mind knowing that someone is keeping an eye on the house at all times of the day and night. If you do decide to have a home security system installed in your home, be sure to advertise that you have one. In fact, if you can't afford to install an actual system, putting up signs and stickers around your home can be a powerful deterrent. Most criminals are looking for an easy target and a house that has an alarm system is definitely not that.
Lastly, ensure that all exits are easily accessible, particularly if you use a wheelchair or walker. You must have a way to get out of the home in case of an emergency. Ask neighbors to keep an eye on your house and provide them with a list of emergency contacts in case they can't get hold of you for some reason.
Nothing will keep someone determined to get in from actually getting in, but by following these tips, you can minimize the possibility of becoming a victim.
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