Safety Tips for Senior Citizens

Jul 13, 2011


  • Equip your door with either a dead-bolt lock with a one-inch throw, or a heavy duty drop-bolt lock. The lock should also have a highly pick-resistant cylinder protected by a guard plate. Do not use a dual cylinder lock in a residence.
  • Consider the purchase of an electronic security system that is monitored on a 24-hour basis by a U.L. approved central station. This type of system affords you the best protection. If an emergency should occur, the authorities would be dispatched for you. The same system can be used to summon medical assistance.
  • Install a wide-angle peephole to get a fuller view of the outside area.
  • Do not open the door until you are sure of your visitor’s identity.
  • Do not leave a house key under a mat, in the mailbox, or in any other “hiding” area near the door.
  • If your house keys have been stolen or lost, replace lock cylinders immediately.
  • If awakened at night by an intruder, try not to panic. Lie still and at first opportunity, call the police.
  • If you should return home to find your door open or tampered with, do not enter. Go immediately to a trusted neighbor and notify the police.
  • When leaving for an extended period of time, ask a trusted neighbor to pick up your mail and newspapers.
  • Use the buddy system. Travel and shop with companions whenever possible, both during the day and at night. There is greater safety in numbers.
  • Do not carry large sums of money in your purse.
  • Place money, credit cards, identification, and keys in the inside of your clothing.
  • If you drive, be sure that your car is properly maintained.
  • Keep your gas tank filled and the doors locked.
  • Park in well-lit areas. You should note the aisle number when parking in larger sized lots. Always check under your vehicle and in the back seat before entering.
  • If you must carry a purse, carry it close to your body. Do not wrap the strap around your wrist or shoulder.
  • In the theater or when dining, keep your purse on your lap. Do not place it on the floor, on another seat, or on the back of a chair.
  • If your purse is snatched, let it go. Do not fight for it! Anything worth fighting for shouldn’t be there in the first place.

“Con artists” are smooth-talking criminals who try to separate you from your money through trickery or deceit. They can be men or women who work alone, in pairs, or in groups. They may stop you on the street, call on the phone, or ring your doorbell pretending to be repair people, building inspectors, bank examiners, or any other service person. There are many different types of confidence games. To avoid becoming a victim:

  • Be suspicious of friendly strangers who offer goods or services at low rates.
  • Beware of friendly strangers who tell you they have found money and want to share it with you.
  • Be suspicious of telephone calls from someone claiming to be a bank official asking you to withdraw money from your account for any reason. Banks communicate business transactions in writing.
  • Do not hesitate to notify the police of any suspicious circumstances.
  • Be alert to schemes that involve removing your savings or other valuables from safekeeping and turning them over to somebody else.
  • Remember: You do not get something for nothing!
  • The highest number of pedestrian fatalities occurs in the 65 and older age group. The second highest number of fatalities is experienced by the 45–64 age group.
  • Therefore, it is particularly important for the older person to observe basic safety rules.
  • Never cross against the light.
  • Always cross at the corner; never between parked vehicles or in the middle of the block. Stay within the crosswalk.
  • Before crossing, make certain all cars have stopped.
  • Watch for cars turning into crosswalks.
  • Never assume the driver will see you or be able to stop in time. Your safety is your responsibility.

Category: Home Security

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