Aging parents and other seniors are often the victims of criminal activities. Hopefully, no one reading this will ever fall prey to any sort of crime. With that in mind, the following basic safety tips can help to prevent aging parents from becoming crime victim statistics.
Safety Tips While in the House
- Make sure the door has a peephole and use it.
- Don’t let someone in the door unless you know who they are. If someone claims to be a repairman, ask for identification.
- Many people hide “extra” keys in easy-to-find places such as under the doormat. Try instead to find a more difficult hiding place or leave a key with a trusted neighbor.
- If going out, avoid leaving notes on the door that let criminals know the house is currently empty. When going away on a trip, make sure that papers, mail, etc., are collected by a neighbor, relative, or friend.
- Don’t give out information to strangers that can let them know when you are away from home (and that your home is therefore empty and an easy target).
- When you return home, if you suspect someone is inside your home who shouldn’t be, do not go inside. Leave the premises and call the police or 911.
Safety Tips While Out of the Home
- When possible, go out with other people; there’s safety in numbers.
- Keep purses and bags held close to the body. Wallets should be kept in front pockets or inside the pockets of jackets or coats.
- Be selective in what you bring with you. Try to avoid carrying large quantities of money or credit cards that you won’t need. Decide whether the outing requires flashy jewelry.
- When using a cell phone in a public area, it’s easy to become distracted. If possible, try to avoid using phones while walking on a street.
- At night, make sure the area in which you are walking is as well-lit as possible; avoid deserted areas.
- Keep car doors locked.
- Trust yourself. If a situation makes you uncomfortable, even if you don’t know the reason, go ahead and leave. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
Aging parents shouldn’t feel unduly worried or unsafe; being unnecessarily fearful can be a problem. Taking sensible safety steps can give a person a better sense of security and help them enjoy their daily activities more.