5 Senior Safety Tips at Home and On the Go
With nearly 50 million citizens age 65 and older living in the United States and Canada, seniors represent one of the fastest growing population segments – but also a demographic commonly targeted for crime, according to the experts at Master Lock. To stay safe through every life stage and season, the security product provider recommends:
1. Staying Alert When Out and About
Property crimes represent the highest share of crimes against those 65 and older – nearly nine out of 10, according to the National Elder Law Network. Stay alert and aware of surroundings when out of the house and keep valuables protected. Always lock cars, even if they’ll only be unattended for a few minutes. Keep packages or shopping bags out of sight, and always check the area around your car before entering or exiting. When out in public, women should wear their purses close to their body and men should carry their wallet in an inside coat or front pant pocket.
2. Lock Up Home Safety
Seniors should never have to worry about safety in their own home. For added protection beyond traditional door and window locks, safeguard sliding glass and patio doors with the added strength of a security bar and consider a home alarm system to alert against intruders. Keep doors locked both when you’re home and away, but allow access to a friend or family member in case of emergency by storing a spare key in a key safe.
3. Secure Personal Items in a Group Home Environment
Misplaced or stolen belongings are a frequent complaint of nursing home residents. Keep valuables safe by storing them in an easy-to-use, locked safe that only you and a trusted companion know the combination to. Small items, such as credit cards, jewelry or cash, can be stored in a portable safe, while larger items, like documents or memorabilia, can be stored in a fire-resistant safe.
4. Protect Against Identity Theft
Mature consumers (ages 50 and over) represent the largest demographic of identity theft victims, according to the Federal Trade Commission. Why? Consumers in this age group typically have more assets than younger consumers, making them ideal targets. Reduce your risk by never carrying your social security card; shredding documents that contain any identifying information; keeping personal information such as bank statements, Medicare statements and social security numbers in a locked safe; and storing credit card numbers in a safe location for easy retrieval if they’re lost or stolen.
5. Think Twice Before Divulging Personal Information
Seniors are also major targets of fraud, such as telemarketing scams, according to the American Association of Retired Persons. Follow the general rule of thumb that if an offer seems too good to be true, it probably is. Never rush into signing anything, and never give your credit card, Social Security, Medicare or bank account details to anyone over the phone. When in doubt, check with the Better Business Bureau or police.
Source: Master Lock