Around 12.1 million U.S. adults ages 65 and up live alone. While many seniors enjoy the peacefulness, their independence can make them an easy target for a home invasion.
In January 2017, four men broke into a 71-year-old woman's home in Michigan. They tied her to a chair and raided her home for personal bank information, identity cards and valuables. Although the men were eventually arrested, this is just one example of criminals targeting seniors living alone.
Fortunately, there are steps independent seniors can take to ensure safe living. Here they are.
1. Personal Emergency Response
Seniors who live independently must have a way to call emergency services in case of a fall or a medical issue. Consider a Personal Emergency Response System (PERS) to easily summon emergency services. These systems ensure you’re never alone when you need help. Here’s how they work:
- In the event of an emergency, push the help button on your PERS necklace, keychain or wristband to activate a medical speaker box.
- An operator will answer your call, and ask you to explain your emergency.
- The operator will then contact help and notify your contact list.
Some PERS even allow users to pre-record messages to remind them of important daily tasks, like taking medication or locking up before leaving.
2. Monitored Alarms
It’s easy to relax knowing someone is always looking out for your safety. Monitored alarm services offer the perfect solution for seniors who value their independence and security. When an alarm is triggered, a signal is sent to a 24/7-monitoring center, where operators assess the emergency and dispatch authorities.
3. Video Surveillance
Consider installing a peephole or a doorbell camera. Thieves and scammers target seniors with fraudulent offers just to steal information and scope out the inside of a home. Doorbell cameras make it possible to see who is knocking without having to open the door. This is also beneficial for independent seniors who have limited mobility. Paired with smart locks, doorbell cameras allow the user to see who is at the door and grant or deny access, without having to walk to the door.
4. Mobile Solutions
Typically, we think seniors are less digitally connected than the rest of the population, but more seniors are connected than ever before. Over 40 percent of people 65 and up own a smartphone—that’s more than double what it was in 2013.
Whether you are a tech-savvy senior or a family member looking out for an elder living alone, home mobile security solutions offer power and convenience to manage your security from your smartphone or computer. They let you:
- Arm and disarm your security system from anywhere at anytime.
- Create automatic arming schedules customized to your lifestyle.
- Inspect activity reports that inform you if your doors, windows, medicine cabinets or safes have been accessed.
- Watch live video recordings of your home, and receive live alerts when motion sensors are triggered.
5. Smart Home Technology
Smart home technology makes aging easy by making everyday tasks more convenient and providing opportunities to keep your independence.
Smart lights, locks and thermostats allow you to effortlessly manage all the responsibilities that come with living alone. By simplifying basic household tasks like automatically turning lights off or locking doors, family members and seniors will find comfort knowing household duties are completed.
Stay connected and ensure your independence with smart home technology.
How do you stay safe while living alone? Share in the comments below.