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Home Safety Tips for Senior Citizens

Updated on December 9, 2011

Home Safety Tips for Seniors

As you get older, you may notice a disturbing trend: more people who want to take advantage of you are coming out of the woodwork every day. Whether it is a telephone scammer trying to pressure you into buying something you don’t need, or an unscrupulous cashier who takes advantage of your kindness or lack of knowledge on an issue, you must take charge in order to protect yourself.

Below you will find important home safety tips that should be followed to protect yourself and your home.

Used in accordance to terms.
Used in accordance to terms. | Source

Many seniors don’t want to feel like a burden, and scammers know and take advantage of this. Please know that you have worked your entire life to make our country a great place to live, and you should never feel embarrassed or ashamed if you need something explained to you again, or to ask for more time to review the details before committing.

Any business that won’t respect this does not deserve your money.

It is also just as important to pay attention to the security of your home. Most break-ins happen during the day, which makes retired people especially vulnerable. If you are a senior citizen, or someone who cares for an elderly person, please review these home safety tips and implement these best practices.

They could save your life.

Home Safety Tips

  • Install deadbolt locks. These locks make illegal entry very difficult. Standard locks can be opened using a screwdriver or a credit card. If you have a screen door, keep it locked, too. Install safety catches on all windows. Before doing this, make sure you evaluate your entire home, inside and out. If you are not able to use a ladder, ask someone who can.
  • Consider installing an alarm system. The police will be notified instantly if someone attempts to gain entry through a door, window or garage. Make sure you choose a reputable company that has been in business for many years. Consider using one that your neighbors recommend.
  • Don’t leave a set of keys under the doormat, above the door or hidden anywhere outside. Criminals know where most people hide keys. Instead, leave a key with a trusted neighbor, friend or family member.
  • Leave lights on when you leave your home. If you are going to be gone for several days, install timers and activate them at different times. Attach one to a radio or television. These are a great way to make it look like someone is home, which should deter most attempts at home invasion.
  • Keep your hedges and bushes trimmed so entryways and walkways are clearly visible to your neighbors and to the police. Make sure all outdoor lights are working and use them. Criminals target homes that look unkempt, assuming that the person inside is a shut-in or unable to care for themselves. If you can’t do the work yourself, check the local classifieds or ask your neighbors who they recommend.
  • Don’t leave tools or ladders lying around the yard. A thief may use these objects to gain entry to your home. Many criminals don’t like to carry their own tools, so don’t let yours be the reason your home gets robbed.
  • Keep your money in the bank and valuables in a safe deposit box. Don’t keep jewelry or other valuables in a conspicuous location. Also, never discuss personal finances with strangers, even inquisitive bank employees. If someone casually asks you what is in your safe deposit box, politely tell them that it is not their business.
  • Install a peephole in solid doors. Never open the door for anyone you do not know. Insist on proper identification and check credentials before opening your door. If you are not sure, call the police. Police officers will gladly wait while you verify their identity. Check references of any person who may do work for you.
  • Make an inventory of all your personal property. Include year, make, model and price of all appliances and furniture. Photos are helpful, as is a video walkthrough of your home, documenting all your belongings. Keep serial numbers, account numbers and policy numbers on file in a safe place.
  • Keep emergency numbers by the telephone. If you live alone, make arrangements for someone to call you every day. If you don't have a mobile phone, consider buying a prepaid phone with no contract. They are affordable, and only cost you money when you use them. This is the most valuable tool you can have to stay safe.


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    • marriedwithdebt profile image

      marriedwithdebt 6 years ago from Illinois

      Thanks Kikalina and tammy. A lot of these are good tips for anybody living on their own.

    • tammyswallow profile image

      Tammy 6 years ago from North Carolina

      This is very helpful. I wish so many elderly people didn't live alone, but these ideas may help. Gives me lots to think about for old age too. Great hub!

    • kikalina profile image

      kikalina 6 years ago from Europe

      Great article. Sharing with followers. Thanks for SHARING

    • profile image

      Derek Abel 6 years ago

      this is a good reminder.

    • marriedwithdebt profile image

      marriedwithdebt 6 years ago from Illinois

      Hey Cred, thanks for reading. I have actually been trying to implement some of these myself, even though I'm far from elderly.

    • Credence2 profile image

      Credence2 6 years ago from Florida (Space Coast)

      Good common sense info even for the not so elderly...

      thanks for the reminder, Cred2

    • marriedwithdebt profile image

      marriedwithdebt 6 years ago from Illinois

      Thanks guys for stopping by. It's a shame that articles like this must be written, but we are in an age where everyone needs to put safety first.

    • tammyswallow profile image

      Tammy 6 years ago from North Carolina

      Excellent suggestions. I am just coming into the age where my family are turning into senior citizens. This will be helpful.

    • Preacherwolf2011 profile image

      Preacherwolf2011 6 years ago from Bloomington, Indiana

      Great Hub! very informative. We all have parents/grandparents who should be aware of these contingencies. Thanks!