Home Security for Safer Seniors

In Category: Security Tips

Maybe they’re your parents. Maybe they’re your favorite aunt, uncle, or family friend. Whoever they might be, most of us have some older folks in our lives who hold a special place in our hearts. And, as we age, many of us find ourselves undergoing something of a role-reversal with our elderly family members and friends, helping to look after them as they once looked after us.

May is National Older Americans Month, and in addition to providing the perfect reason to catch up with a visit, it also gives you a chance to review their home security. Follow our tips to help make sure your elderly loved ones can enjoy a more secure home, no matter where they live.

A More Secure Home for Seniors

Even the most active and independent seniors can benefit from some extra home security. A quick review of their home can expose potential security problems.

  • Check all the locks on windows and doors, and replace as necessary. If your loved one doesn’t already have deadbolts on their doors, installing them can have a significant effect on their overall home security.
  • Consider installing (or updating) a home security system. Make sure your loved one knows how to activate and deactivate the alarm, along with any other necessary features. If you’re their emergency contact, be sure you know how to use the system as well.
  • For maximum security, a system with GSM capability sends alerts to the monitoring station more quickly, even if the landline is disabled.
  • Make sure all exterior lighting (including security lighting) is in good working order.
  • Ensure all door mechanisms, peepholes, cameras, etc., are secure and functional, but still easy enough to operate for those who may struggle with arthritis or other challenges.
  • Make sure all garage doors (including side-entry doors) are secured. Consider replacing any hollow-core doors with solid-core, deadbolt-equipped doors for all points of entry.
  • Confirm that any hedges, trees, or other landscaping features do not obstruct the view of the home from the road. Consider defensive landscaping as part of an overall security plan.

Security for Seniors in Assisted Living

If your favorite senior has relocated to an assisted living or care facility, the worries that come with home ownership are probably reduced or even eliminated. That said, you can still help ensure their living space, personal safety, and possessions are protected for maximum security.

  • Review the security policies for the community or facility. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or request more information about:
    • on-site video monitoring
    • availability of security staff
    • emergency services for residents
    • visitor procedures, tracking, and check in/out (e.g., keycards, badges, etc.)
  • If others will have access to your loved one’s living space, consider purchasing a small safe for valuables. Remember to keep a copy of the key or combination for yourself in case of emergencies.
  • Verify that your loved one’s new home is up to code, and has adequate accommodations in place for those with limited mobility, medical issues, or frailty.

Helping your special seniors get the most out of life—and stay secure while they do so—doesn’t have to be a chore. By taking the time to review and update their home security, you can give them greater peace of mind, and help protect the life and legacy they’ve worked so hard to build.