December 5, 2015

Safety tips for Senior Citizens

In just a few years, over one quarter of our country’s population will be Senior Citizens. With such a large segment of our society getting up there, con men, thieves and scammers are honing their craft to take advantage of them. Here are some great tips on how you can keep you, or your family members, safe from these criminals. 

Home Security

Do you know who is at your door knocking? 99% of the time, if someone rings your doorbell you know who that person is, but if it is someone you don’t know or recognize you should be alert. Having a peephole installed in the door is a great way to make sure you can identify the person and make sure you’re not opening your door to a predator. While the caller may have a legitimate reason to be stopping by your home, they should not have any issue with you being cautious. It is more than alright to request they leave any information about their visit and you can contact them directly, or you may ask them to come back at another time when you have another person at the home to vet them.

The best way to secure your home is to have a security system installed; this can protect you from burglars and fire. Some systems also have an alert if you fall down and can’t get up, or are incapacitated. They are expensive, but can certainly provide you an added layer of protection.

When you’re out and about

No two ways about it, when you’re walking alone, you may be the target of a thief. There are some steps you can take to prevent crimes occurring to you. The first is to go out with a friend, or family member, there is strength in numbers. A mugging is a crime of opportunity, if you’re with a group, you’ll mitigate this risk significantly. Also, don’t be flashy, or carry large sums of money. These again can draw attention to you and make you a target.

Home Repair Fraud

This is a growing type of crime that specifically targets seniors: Home Repair Fraud. The targets are approached by people who appear to be contractors who offer to perform various home repairs at steep discounts. Many times they’ll say they have materials left over from another job, or were sent by a friend, but one the job is finished they payment amount vastly exceeds the initial quote. Be sure to get references from any contractor. A reputable one will always be happy to provide you with former customers that can speak for the quality of their work and ability to stay on budget.

Even though people are going to age, that doesn’t mean they need to give up their lives and live in fear of a crime occurring to them. By using common sense and taking some steps to prevent any scenario where a person can be taken advantage of, will allow them to live safely and without fear. Prevention is critical to protecting yourself and your loved ones.

Wilbur Reed is a writer for all things senior.  He is a senior himself and works for a Houston senior home.

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