We all have older parents at one time or another. They eventually become empty nesters. To help protect them you can implement some do it yourself home security tips for seniors. I would hope that you’re checking on the senior adult that’s related to you or is a friend.
The decline of their physical and mental ability makes them a prime target.
One of the most common offenses committed against a senior citizen has to do with their property. They have a car stolen, a physical item taken from the yard or a victim of a break in.
A lot of older people don’t keep up with today’s technology. They either have no interest or just don’t understand it all.
There are a few basic, but really necessary precautions that can be taken to increase the home security for seniors.
Tell them to keep all their doors and windows locked
I know it’s pretty basic, but it is one of the best things they can do. A lot of times this can be forgotten or overlooked very easily. You don’t want just anyone having access to their house. Having unlocked entry points just makes it that much easier for a criminal to enter.
You may want to help them upgrade the locks on the doors and windows. Add deadbolt lock and upgrade or add to the window locks. You will also want to make sure the frame for the doors leading into their house is strong.
Always remind your senior family member or friend not to enter their home if a door or window has been forced open. Tell them to call the police immediately and you. This way you can be with them and offer support along with listening to what the police have to say. You can remind them what was said.
Install a peephole in your doors
It’s always a good idea to know who is at your door before unlocking it. A peephole lets you do just that. If you don’t know the person, don’t unlock the door. Tell your senior parent, relative or friend not to be pressured into opening the door. It can turn into a home invasion.
If the door has decorative glass in the door, a person may think that is just as good as a peephole. It really isn’t. That glass can be broken allowing an arm to reach inside and unlock the door. On top of that, you can be observed as to what activity is going on in the house through that glass.
You can take the glass out, tint it so nobody can see inside or put a protective film on it so it will be much harder to break.
A doorbell camera can add extra protection and security
If the older person is tech savvy, they could benefit from a doorbell camera. This will allow them to see who is at the door without even going to the door. A lot of seniors are not tech savvy. In fact, there are a great number of them that won’t even try and learn to use today’s technology.
This doesn’t have to stop them from using a doorbell camera like the one made by Ring. You can always have the app on a phone so that whoever comes to the door will be seen by a relative or friend.
Hiding a key outside is a bad idea
It may seem like a good idea to hide a key somewhere outside so you can get in if a house key is forgotten or a friend needs to gain entry. It’s not. One of the first things a crook will look for is key that is hidden. It’s not a question of if they will find it, but when. This will give them access to the home. Since they didn’t have to break in, it may be a while before anyone realizes it.
The solution to this is to install a keypad. Now you don’t have to worry about a key being found.
Keep any gates locked
If the yard is gated, be sure to keep them locked. An open gate is an invitation to come right in. If a criminal encounters a locked gate, the chances are good that the home is locked up as well. They may move on to what they consider an easier target.
Have them keep a phone nearby
Another essential home security tip for seniors. That phone could be vital in preventing or reporting a break-in at the home. Tell them to keep it close. If they don’t have a cordless phone, this may not be possible. If they do have one and don’t keep it charged, that won’t work either. So now what do you do?
Considering a medical alert necklace
I’m sure you have seen the commercials with that annoying “I’ve fallen and can’t get up” line. An alert necklace, when worn, is always there. It only needs the push of a button that takes less time than dialing 911 to call for help. No phone to carry around. It is convenient and is always there if worn.
Have a well-lit house
Criminals don’t want to be seen. If you keep the outside of the house washed in light, chances are a person wanting to commit a crime at that house will simply move on. Motion lights are a good idea too. The startling effect of lights coming on will probably scare off any intruders.
Security cameras are awesome
As stated before, criminals don’t want to be seen. Having a security camera system will go a long way in preventing someone from even thinking about trying to break into a house of a senior.
There have advances and the price of cameras have come down significantly. I personally got a DVR with 8 cameras for 200.00. I have had it since 2017 and they work great. This particular one is not available right now. They come and go. You can still get decent ones that work well and are probably better than what I have.
You can always get the app on your phone to keep an eye on your parents or senior friends house.
Consider using a safe for valuables
Try and convince them to use a safe for their expensive stuff. It will take the thief longer to get to it, thus giving the police more time to arrive. It will also keep people from being tempted to take the stuff if there is a party going on at the house.
Social media for seniors
There are a lot of seniors that go on social media. It is a way for them to keep up with the grandchildren and their children too.
Make sure you warn them not to post things like when they are not home. If they are going out for a bit. If they are going on vacation. This is rolling out the red carpet for criminals.
Also, tell them not to post things like, “I got a new lawnmower that is kept on the side of the shed”. Invitation for someone to come and get themselves a new piece of lawn equipment for free.
If they are going away for a week or two or more
Don’t leave the mail in the mailbox. Don’t leave a bunch of newspapers in the driveway. Don’t leave all the lights off inside the house.
Have a neighbor or relative get your mail and newspapers. Put some of the inside lights on timers. Make it look like there is someone home.
What if you can’t convince them to do any of this
Sometimes people are stubborn, especially the older ones. It may be a safe neighborhood but you never know. If they refuse to or just don’t want to take any of these home security tips for seniors, get the police involved.
Request a security survey from the local police. This may convince the person to follow at least some of the tips here.
Hopefully, you have found at least some of these home security tips for seniors helpful and can put them to good use. Leave any ideas or comments below. We would love to hear from you.