Currently, seniors make up about 15% of the total population of the United States. With the percentage of seniors at an all-time high, an increasing amount of responsibility for their care and protection is being placed on their children. Finding a balance that allows you to monitor your parents’ security while also allowing them to maintain a feeling of independence and safety is key; here are some suggestions and tips to ensure that your senior is well-protected.
Investing In a Home Security System
A home security system goes beyond just the front door of a home. Finding a reliable home security company that helps build the best plan for you and your parents is necessary. Your parents kept you safe when you were younger; now it’s your turn to ensure that they are protected in their older years. It is important to determine what features your parents will need in a home security system when researching different options; talk to a home security specialist who can suggest the best options for your senior’s home in particular while keeping ease of use and accessibility in mind.
Fire and Carbon Monoxide Alarms: A Hot Topic
Making sure that elderly parents are protected against fires and carbon monoxide poisoning is a must. Detectors should be installed in all areas of the home for maximum protection; carbon monoxide is a silent, odorless killer, and fires spread rapidly with little warning. Escaping from a home in case of either occurring in a safe and timely manner is crucial, especially for seniors whose physical functionality may be declining. Coupled with a home security system, detectors can also alert authorities and medical personnel in case of a fire or carbon monoxide leak and send help to your senior right away. Especially if you are not often around to check in on your elderly parents, making sure that detectors are installed and that the batteries are replaced regularly is the least you can do to keep your seniors safe.
Video Surveillance Systems: Eyes and Ears for Your Senior
As they get older, seniors want to maintain their sense of independence, but seniors living alone are more likely to experience loneliness and fear stemming from living by themselves. A great way to reassure you and your senior about their safety would be to look into installing a video surveillance system. Having to check out that noise coming from the front door at night may be scary for an elderly parent living alone; providing them (and you) a way to monitor entrances remotely brings peace of mind to both parties. Video surveillance systems are a great way for seniors, especially those who can’t see, hear, or get around quite as well as they used to, to be alerted of visitors or suspicious activity. These systems are easy to use and monitor, even for less tech-savvy individuals. More and more seniors are using smartphones and tablets and are capable of quickly adapting to technology, so with a quick tutorial, your senior will be able to monitor their home from wherever with just a few taps on a screen.
Back to the Basics: General Security Tips
Having a conversation about security with your parents is a great way to help you and them feel safe as they grow older and continue to live on their own. Some general safety tips:
- Always lock the doors, especially when leaving the house. Seniors may have lived during a time when locking doors may have not been the norm, but remind them that it’s better to be safe than sorry.
- Invest in a lockbox for spare keys. Either that, or make sure that only people you trust have copies of a spare. That doormat or flower pot isn’t an original spot.
- If you don’t have a video surveillance system, at least make sure the door has a peephole. Never open the door before checking who is there.
- Consider replacing decorative glass doors. It’s incredibly easy to see movement inside from outside a house through decorative glass doors. Don’t give potential thieves this advantage.
- If traveling, leave a light or the TV on. Making it seem like someone’s home deters thieves from entering the house. In addition, have a family member or neighbor pick up the mail so it doesn’t accumulate when you’re gone; mail that has been unattended to is an indicator that that you’re not there.
- Keep a wireless phone or cell phone nearby. Make sure you can call 911 from wherever inside the house if unusual activity is detected.
- Install a home security system for peace of mind. You should feel safe at home. Protect your loved ones even when you’re not there by investing in a home security system.