As we get older we become more and more vulnerable to potential criminal acts. Home security for seniors means not just preventing home invasion, but also protecting from a much more likely threat: medical emergencies.
Even a short fall can cause severe issues for seniors who are less physically able. By combining medical alert systems with home security systems, you can provide your parents with comprehensive protection, even when you can’t be around to help.
The elderly can also benefit from cutting-edge features like home automation and doorbell cameras, allowing them to be better able to control their home at the touch of a button.
Why do criminals target the elderly?
Mental and Physical Health: The biggest reason why seniors are a likely target of crimes is that they are likely to be living alone and isolated from the outside world. Also, they may have mental or physical disabilities, making them easy targets for con artists and other scammers.
Older people are more likely to fall for all sorts of email and phone scams that younger people would ignore. As older adults tend to be less physically active, burglars can see their inability to fight back as an opportunity.
Predictability: Seniors tend stick to the same routines, making it easy for a criminal to guess when they won’t be at home.
Location: Seniors will be living close enough to town so that they don’t have to walk or drive as far to get groceries and see the doctor. Cities are more likely to have higher rates of crime than rural locations.
Crime Reporting: Seniors are assumed to be less likely to go to the police or be able to fill out a proper incident report after a crime is committed, making it easier for the criminal to escape justice.
How can we protect our aging parents?
Medical Alert Systems
While the threat of a break-in is always scary, a health crisis is a far more likely occurrence. If you’re looking for a security system, also consider getting a medical alert system with a panic button so that help can come as quickly as possible.
All someone has to do to summon emergency services is press and hold down a button that can be carried on their person. Some medical alert systems have advanced features like automatic fall detection. In addition to calling for help, the system should also alert family members and caregivers of a problem.
Another way to help out a senior is to have a home automation system that will automatically turn on alarm systems at a certain time every day. This is a big help for seniors who suffer from mental health issues and have difficulty remembering to regularly arm their system. This automated system can be also used for the heating and lighting of the house.
Smart thermostats make it easy to keep the home at the right temperature, and smart lighting can be put on randomized timers so criminals are less able to figure out when people are in the house and make break-ins far less likely.
Smart home security systems can be activated remotely via smartphone to provide seniors with greater freedom to leave the home without needing to worry. These simple and easy-to-use apps that control the system are designed so that even those who aren’t used to using smartphones or computers can figure out how to use them.
A doorbell camera is another great security device that will give senior peace of mind. Criminals are far less likely to attempt to break into a house that has a doorbell camera system, as the camera captures them the moment they set foot on the front porch. If you’re a burglar, the last thing you want to do is risk is getting your face caught on tape and ending up in the local papers and wanted posters all over the place.
Besides acting as a deterrent, video doorbells will also let seniors watch the outside of their house and grant entry to family members, friends, and trusted service workers without having to get up and walk over to the door.
Most doorbell systems integrate with smartphones and can be used remotely. This means you can see who’s coming up their front porch, even when you’re not at home.
Keep doors and downstairs windows locked at all times: An unlocked window can allow somebody access to the home even when the senior is inside it. Doors and windows are the most vulnerable points of any home, and as such require the most attention. Read our guide on how to reinforce your doors to learn more.
Make sure the front door has a peephole (or a doorbell camera system): Always make sure you are able to recognize the person on the other side. Do not open the door even slightly if you are at all uncertain about who this person is or their intentions. Additionally, have a mobile phone at the ready when people are at your door. If there is something suspicious going on, call the police right away.
Avoid hiding your key outside your home: When going on a vacation do not leave keys outside the house under doormats or in flower pots. If you must leave a key behind give it to a trusted friend or family member.
Download the Ultimate Guide to Home Security and learn:
Top 5 misconceptions about home security
How to assess vulnerabilities in your home
Why home security is about more than preventing burglaries
Cutting-edge security equipment: how home security has changed