A safety checklist for personal safety

by the Editor, SeniorInsider | Jun 02, 2011

Security for the elderly encompasses a wide array of personal safety issues and devices. Living on your own is no cause for you to live alone or be isolated. However, most seniors need to take precautions to prevent themselves from becoming victims. Security for the elderly has become a necessity due to a society which has left seniors easy targets for the criminals and abusers of the world.

Security for the Elderly and Your Personal Habits


There are several specific habits which make you especially vulnerable to attack. Some of these include going out alone after dark, living by yourself, taking walks on your own without letting someone know, traveling routes you are not familiar with, conducting your banking transactions at either inside or outside ATM’s, walking alone to and from large parking lots, especially at night, or even answering your front door when you don’t know who is on the other side.

Security for the elderly addresses all these issues as well as the more common things we all do regularly without thinking about it. Senior safety is something to be considered carefully, taking the necessary safeguards to allow us to live worry-free.  

To address your personal habits regarding security for the elderly, remember to always travel with family or friends when shopping, going on a trip or even going for a walk. A good guard dog may be enough for walks around your community and for an added sense of security in your home—not to mention companionship.

Avoid going out late at night, and try to never end up in an isolated or unpopulated area by yourself. There are usually security guards in shopping malls that will be more than happy to escort you to your car. If you live alone and have plenty of room, consider taking in a boarder—just be sure it is either someone you know, or that you screen them carefully. Install locks, alarms and chains in your home, and never, ever give out personal information over the phone lest you fall victim to elderly identity theft.

Security for the Elderly Safety Checklist


  • Security for the elderly can be as simple as always carrying a cell phone with you, with emergency contact numbers programmed in for quick access.
  • It goes without saying that you should never pick up hitchhikers in this day and age--times have changed and you should not take such a serious risk.
  • Buy a personal shredder from your local office store and shred all documents before tossing them in the garbage. This is crucial security for the elderly as identity theft is rampant.
  • Never open your door to a stranger, no matter how innocuous they may look. If you are expecting a repair person or a delivery of some sort, don’t leave valuables lying around—it’s much easier to keep temptation out of reach than to deal with a theft.
  • If you ever find yourself in the scary position of being attacked, remember to scream, holler and make as much noise as possible. If the attacker is merely after money, hand over your purse or wallet—they are not worth your life.
  • If the neighborhood you live in has a neighborhood watch program, join in! This is a good way to get to know all your neighbors, and learn to trust and rely on one another.
  • Security for the elderly encompasses many things you might not have even considered, such as when you buy a new television or stereo, don’t toss the empty boxes out by the garbage—if you do, you have just issued an open invitation to thieves that you have something brand-new of value that they might want. Recycle the boxes, or cut them up and put them into a trash bag.

Security for the Elderly in Home Modifications


Simple home modifications can go a long way in providing security for the elderly. Installing grab bars, shower seats and raised toilet seats can make your bathroom much safer, while adding adequate lighting and nightlights can make an enormous difference in whether you will suffer a fall.

All stairs should have a sturdy railing, and putting them on both sides is even better. Make sure all trip hazards are removed and never, ever climb up on a chair or stepladder in order to reach something. Even young people can get dizzy and off balance when climbing and reaching, so put commonly used items within easy reach. Spending the time to ensure your personal safety is definitely worth it.

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