We can all be forgetful, but as we age we naturally become even more absentminded. If you have a senior parent who is living alone, you may be concerned about their safety and security. A senior parent may forget to lock the door or may allow someone into their home who cannot be trusted. Appropriate steps need to be taken to ensure that they and their possessions are protected.
1. Consider Getting Doors that Lock Automatically
There are doors that will automatically lock; they can always be opened from within (for fire safety) but can never be opened from the outside without a key. There are benefits and drawbacks to this, naturally. The major benefit is that your parent will never forget to lock the door… the downfall is that they may lock themselves out when they go to get the mail or even when they go to take a trip to the store. If you are going to use this solution, you may want to keep a spare key somewhere that you know they will remember it.
2. Install Remote Access Security Cameras
Remote access security cameras are the best and easiest way to check in on your parent when you can’t be around. When installed in common areas, remote access security cameras let you check in to make sure that your parent is OK, in the event that you cannot get them on the phone. This also allows you to watch your parent’s caretakers to make sure that they are taking care of your parent properly and are neither neglecting nor abusing them.
3. Invest in a Good Lighting System
You might be surprised to discover what a deterrent simple lighting can be. Thieves are not looking for just any target; they are looking for the easiest target. A brightly lit yard, garage and home is going to be something that they just don’t want to deal with because of the risk. Consider using solar lights throughout the front and back to improve lighting without having to tack on additional electricity costs.
4. Install Phones Throughout the Home
One thing many people forget is to make sure that there is a way that their parent can contact them from any room in the house. Many senior citizens are not comfortable with cell phones, especially if they are panicked. They may get stuck in a bedroom or basement, and if that happens, they need to be able to call the authorities. Another alternative is a small phone that is specifically meant for the elderly. These phones usually only have a few buttons which are programmed to dial the authorities as well as anyone on their emergency contact list. These emergency phones are small enough to be worn around the neck rather than held like an ordinary phone.
Installing a security system is often the first step in protecting a senior parent, but keep in mind that they may have trouble operating it at first. It’s advisable to have the security system installers go over the steps with them multiple times and to make sure that the security system monitoring personnel understand that this is the home of an elderly individual. This will avoid any confusion or frustration down the line.