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15 Safety Tips for Senior Citizens

Updated on June 17, 2010

When it comes to crime, there is no age group or gender that is totally safe from being a potential victim. However, there are two groups of people that are at a higher risk- the young and the elderly. This is because they are seen as easy prey often due to their age, physical strength and ease of convincing. One of the best ways to protect your loved ones, regardless of their age, is to be sure that there is an activated home security system in the place of residence. This one simple step can reduce one’s risk of becoming a victim by 55%.

For protecting the children, there are many things that parents can do and numerous articles and websites on the subject. But when it comes to the senior citizens, being aware of the following safety tips listed here, and on other sites, is important.

  1. Install and use good locks on all exterior doors and the windows.
  2. Don’t hide spare keys under doormats, flower pots, etc…thieves know these are common hiding places. Rather, leave the key with a trusted neighbor.
  3. Don’t open the door to a delivery person until you have check their I.D. - if you are not expecting a package or are still unsure-call the delivery service. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
  4. Make sure your house number is clearly seen from the road. This makes it easier to be found by emergency personnel.
  5. Get a security system installed. Be sure it has monitoring for fire, burglary, carbon monoxide and medical emergencies.
  6. Rather than going out alone, go with family or friends.
  7. Hold your purse close or keep your wallet in an inside front pocket.
  8. Don’t carry large amounts of cash or unneeded credit cards.
  9. Use direct deposit for Social Security checks and other regular checks.
  10. Keep car doors locked, and pay attention when in parking garages. Also, be sure to park in well lit areas.
  11. Sit near the driver or the exit if using public transportation.
  12. Trust your instincts-if a situation or person makes you uncomfortable or nervous, get away.
  13. Don’t fall for con artist tricks! If sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  14. Don’t sign anything without reading first. Also, if someone is asking to sign a document quickly, ask for a copy then have a trusted friend/counselor look it over. When in doubt, contact the Better Business Bureau or the National Consumers League of Fraud Information Center (1-800-876-7060)
  15. Report any suspicious activity or crimes in your neighborhood to the police; be a part of a Neighborhood Watch program.

Crime against the perceived helpless has no geographical boundaries. It happens in small towns like Clayton, Alabama and big towns like Chicago. Home security systems combined with basic safety precautions a d common sense can help prevent one from becoming a victim.


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