Most of us make plenty of time for family, especially older relatives. But while it’s important to see them regularly, popping in for a chat and offering them company aren’t the whole story. Older people are at their most vulnerable when alone, especially while at home. And many elderly people aren’t aware of the potential security pitfalls in their home.
As people get older, they often fail to keep their home security up to date – a fact burglars often take advantage of. It’s therefore important to take time to assess the security in the homes of older relatives on their behalf.
The effects of a burglary on anyone can be devastating. Not only because of loss and damage to property, but also due to increased feelings of vulnerability. For older people, the effects can be even more profound, affecting their health and mental well-being.
Many older people who have been victims of burglary report a fear of strangers and leaving their home. Many also worry about being burgled again. Research shows that older people, after a burglary, are 2.4 times more likely to have died or be in a home two years after the incident, compared to their non-burgled counterparts.
So, how can you keep your elderly relatives safe in their homes?
Here are things you need to check, consider and possibly update:
- Locks – Check if they need maintaining or replacing. Many locks aren’t fit for purpose and can easily be smashed by burglars.
- Security alarms – Are they still working? Many older people have security alarms that haven’t been maintained or they don’t know how to operate.
- Doors and windows – Are these still robust and secure? If your elderly relatives haven’t changed or fixed their doors and windows recently, they provide a convenient access point for burglars.
- Outside areas – Are bushes and shrubs well-maintained? If not, they can be used as cover for burglars while they scope out the property.
- Lighting – Does the property have external lighting? Well-lit properties are less likely to be a target.
- CCTV – Home CCTV systems are easy to install, provide a great deterrent and can provide your elderly relatives with peace-of-mind.
- Expensive items – Are high-value items and cash hidden away? If they can be seen from out-side they are likely to be a target.
- Other people – Does your relative have friends and neighbours that they can rely on for help?
A thorough security assessment will greatly reduce the chances of your elderly relatives being burgled. But if you don’t feel confident enough to do these checks yourself, we can help. We’re not just a locksmith, we’re London’s home maintenance and security experts. We can undertake a thorough security assessment and make recommendations to keep your relatives safe. Get in touch – we’d love to help.