Home security for older relatives: seven ways to help them feel safe and secure in their homes

As people become older, many have problems with mobility and ill health and worry that their lack of agility could lead to increased vulnerability. With careful planning and adequate home security measures, there’s no reason why your elderly relative can’t continue to enjoy their independence and peace of mind for many years.

1. Protect the exteriors

A property that looks well maintained and secure is less likely to be targeted by thieves. Roller Shutters come in all shapes and sizes and are an excellent way of protecting external doors and windows, you can find out more about them here. They are ideal for garages and are easy to operate. These appliances will make any thief think twice before attempting to break in.

2. Secure all doors and windows

Insurers recommend a five-lever mortise lock and also suggest that all windows are locked and bolted. You don’t have to turn the house into a fortress, but it’s important to ensure that the external exits are always well secured.

Age UK suggests fitting a spy hole and a chain to external doors so that your relative can control who comes in and out of the house.

3. Get a dog

Pets are wonderful. They’ll give your relative companionship and an excuse for exercise by taking the dog for a walk. Dogs will also bark if an unexpected visitor comes to the front door. The prospective thief won’t know that the dog might be the soppiest pet in the world; they’ll be more worried about it biting and drawing attention to their presence on your property.

healthy-elderly dog security

4. Install an alarm

Alarms come in all shapes and sizes. Many come with a 24 hour monitoring service, which means if the alarm is triggered your relative will be contacted by the service and can be reassured that help is on its way. Some companies also provide dual use alarms, one outside the home and a second system inside the house that could alert you if your relative has a fall and needs help. A great place to start is Verisure Alarms for Home & Business – their security experts can handle any warning or emergency situation, on average, in 45 seconds, and their Alarm Receiving Centre is at your service 24 hours a day, every day of the year.

5. Keep wheelie bins away from the house

Wheelie bins are great for storing rubbish. They’re also really useful for burglars trying to gain access to a property. A wheelie bin placed close to your relative’s windows could act as a useful alternative to a ladder. If at all possible persuade your family to keep their bins some distance from the house.

6. Lights are essential

Thieves hate bright lights. The Metropolitan Police website suggests that the installation of lights both at the front and the rear of the house will act as a powerful deterrent against thieves. If you want to go a step further, then motion sensor lights will be activated the moment an intruder tries to enter the property by night.​

7. Mark all property

A burglary can be devastating for all age groups. Go through your relative’s valuables with them and make sure that all these items are marked discreetly with an indelible pen. This means that if a break-in occurs they won’t be able to sell on any of their precious possessions. Also persuade your relative never to leave any jewellery or other precious items where they can be viewed through a window.

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