Elderly homeowners across the UK are vulnerable to certain types of crime in the modern age. Many older people live alone and can become an easy target for scammers, intruders and thieves.
If you have an elderly relative or neighbour, precautionary measures should be made to ensure they’re aware of the potential dangers. Ask them to report suspicious activity in the area or unwanted visitors, either to yourselves or the authorities.
However, the best way to avert criminal activity is to have efficient and reliable home security measures in place. Not only will this offer peace of mind but also provide a higher degree of independence for elderly homeowners.
Most intruders will look for a vulnerable entry point around the home to gain easier access into the property. Ensure all doors and windows are secure, adding extra locks, hinges or chains if possible.
Neglecting upstairs windows is easily done but burglars will look to enter a property any way they can. When the property is vacated, ensure every window cannot be used as an easy access point.
Spyholes and Chains
Some criminals will approach the home with a cover story in order to gain access, i.e. pretending to be from the gas board. A spyhole or chain on the front door will allow the occupant to check out the visitor’s credentials before opening up.
Thieves will tamper with door locks or even steal car keys via the gap in your letter box. Fitting a letterbox cage will prevent this, block their view into the home and also collect mail for the elderly occupant.
Home Security Equipment
The most effective way of deterring intruders is to install high-quality security equipment such as CCTV cameras and burglar alarms. This will keep your property protected 24/7 from criminal activity and provide peace of mind for the elderly occupant and their relatives.
Elderly people may forget to manually activate their alarm at night and every time they leave the property. Home automation systems will negate this burden and also operate other appliances routinely around the home.
For relatives, sophisticated home viewing technology allows you to keep an eye on their property via a PC or mobile device. Lighting, appliances and alarms can also be controlled from a remote location.
In cases where your elderly relative is unwell or frail, there can be a constant worry over their wellbeing. Specially designed alarm systems can detect if they suffer a fall by using changes in barometric pressure and static orientation.
When the property is vacant, leave a light or appliance on to deter intruders. Also consider outdoor lighting that automatically switches on when movement is detected in the vicinity of the property.
For more information on helping to keep your street and homes secure, take a look at our post Why it Pays to be a Member of a Neighbourhood Watch.