An All Too Common Crime
Crime has inarguably evolved over the last few decades. Today’s wrongdoers have largely turned to hacking, scams, or fraud to get the money and/or personal information they want – often through digital means. Fortunately, public awareness and education on cybercrime and scams has grown substantially, allowing us to become smarter, safer, and more secure consumers. But for every sophisticated criminal there’s one who chooses to go the old school route: home burglary.
Despite popular belief, most home burglaries take place between 10am and 3pm – not at night.
It may not receive the same news coverage as cybercrime, but burglary is still immensely prevalent in Canada, with 1 out of 28 households burglarized. So, as important as it is to watch what we click on, it’s equally vital that we secure our homes from outside threats. This is especially the case for older adults, whose homes are often prime targets for burglars. Although seniors can be more vulnerable to this victimization because of certain factors – declining physical/cognitive function and limited communication being the primary ones – they can take steps to protect what’s most important to them and continue living safely and independently.
Here are some of the recommended home security tips that senior clients can follow to safeguard not only their home, but also their own personal well-being.
Home Security Tips
- Install a home security system: Studies show that burglars tend to stay away from homes that have a security system installed. These days, there are plenty of providers to choose from, so be sure to research thoroughly. Most providers will give stickers to put on the home’s doors and windows from the security company, alerting thieves that a system is installed.
- Keep the doors locked: It’s normal to let our guard down, especially when living in a safe neighborhood – but seniors should remember that crime knows no bounds. All doors that lead outside should be locked at all times day and night.
- Shut the blinds whenever possible: Many burglars will look through windows of homes they’re interested in robbing. Cutting off their visibility into the home can discourage them from proceeding.
- Remove tools from the yard: Be sure that any tools (hammers, screwdrivers, ladders) that can aid burglars in getting into the house are kept inside and out of view.
- Don’t advertise travel plans: Seniors should do their best to keep any travel plans, whether short-term or extended, to themselves or just a few trusted people (e.g., neighbors and family). Talking about travel publicly or posting about it on social media should be avoided.
- Keep personal information in a safe place: In the event that a home is broken into, the last thing you want is for the burglar to get ahold of personal information. Keep any passports, birth certificates, financial statements, and other sensitive documents in a locked safe.
- Request home security advice from the police: Seniors can also contact their local police department and have them come out to the home to provide home security suggestions and information on crime in the neighborhood.
Comfort Keepers® Can Help
At Comfort Keepers®, we understand just how important home is. After all, it’s more than just a place in which we live, it’s a safe haven and an extension of ourselves. Our caregivers can help senior clients maintain peace and happiness in the home by encouraging them to follow the above tips and other security precautions. Additionally, we can provide everything from meal preparation, mobility assistance, and transportation to and from locations in and around town.
For more information about Comfort Keepers’ wide array of in-home care services, call the Comfort Keepers location nearest you.
Securehouse.ca. “Canadian Crime Rates.” Web, 2018.
The Senior List. “Home Security and Safety Tips for Seniors” by Damian Wolf. Web. 2014.
Safewise. “10 Surprising Home Burglary Stats and Facts” by Alexia Chianis. Web. 2018.
Travelers. “9 Home Security Tips.” Web. 2018.
Nationwide. “Helpful Tips On How to Your Home From Burglary.” Web. 2018.