Home Security Guide for Senior Citizens

Whether you’re a senior citizen yourself or you have elderly family members or friends who you’re caring for, home security is something you’re likely to be concerned about. Home security is crucial for allowing older people to stay independent. It keeps them safe and helps them to feel secure in their neighbourhood as well as giving peace of mind to loved ones when they can’t be there.

Whilst the majority of us will have an alarm system and secure door locks to keep our homes protected, for elderly people, these can be difficult to operate. Some seniors struggle to remember their keys for example and might struggle to remember a pin code for an alarm. Luckily, there are some home security devices that cater directly to the needs of elderly people, in particular, elderly people with reduced mobility or hearing. Elite Security has put together an in-depth guide of the different home security devices available to you, providing assistance to the elderly in all different ways. 

Securing Your Front Door

Having an effective lock system on your front door is crucial for security and crime prevention. However, a complex lock system can be difficult for senior citizens to operate, which can cause issues. Luckily, there are a few different options when it comes to door locks to help overcome any barriers elderly citizens might have when opening their door. 

We have outlined some of these below:

BS 3621 Mortice Lock

At a minimum, ensure that your front door is fitted with a BS 3621 lock. Reliable and heavy-duty, these mortice locks are usually a requirement with most insurance companies and will provide the most security for your front door. 

Keyless Door Lock

Keypad locks can be a better option for elderly citizens with reduced mobility or shakiness in their hands which can make operating a key in a door lock difficult and frustrating. Keyless door locks are usually operated via a keypad. They are also backlit which can make them easier to access in lower lighting especially in the evening or nighttime. 

Whilst many senior citizens find them helpful, keyless door locks are not a great option for seniors with memory issues, as they will need to remember their passcode and could end up getting locked out of their home. Remember, for security reasons, it is not a good idea to keep a copy of the code written down.

Alzheimer’s Proof Locks

Senior citizens who suffer from Alzheimer’s or any type of memory loss can cause them to wander out of their home and get lost, which can be hugely dangerous. An Alzherimer’s-proof lock is a good device for preventing this from happening. These locks are usually operated by a code on a keypad. This might not suit everyone, but can be a good option if wandering off becomes a big problem. 

Door chain or bar

As an extra security measure, you could consider adding a door chain or security bar to the front door. Door chains are easy to fit and provide an extra barrier to entry. They can also help keep the door secure if a senior citizen has to open the door to someone after dark. It’s important to stress to any senior people you know that they shouldn’t allow door visitors or people they don’t know into their home. However, if they need to speak with someone outside, a door chain allows them to do this without inviting them inside.

Letterbox cage

A letterbox cage is typically used to collect your mail as it comes through the letterbox, to keep it tidy. However, they are also a good security measure too, since it prevents anyone from tampering with your front door lock through the letterbox. 

Large door handles

Being able to get inside quickly and easily after unlocking your front door is essential. If a senior citizen you know struggles with opening their door, consider switching their handle with a larger door handle that’s easier to grip and turn. 

Key turner

A key turner can be hugely beneficial to elderly people who struggle with arthritis or any other physical ailments that make unlocking their front door challenging. A key turner fits easily onto the end of your key and makes gripping and turning the key much easier. 

Outdoor Lighting

Outdoor lighting is an effective deterrent to trespassers or burglars. You have a range of options when it comes to finding outdoor lighting for your home. Some security lighting can operate by a timer and automatically switch on in the early evening. Some security lighting operates via a motion sensor so will be activated if anyone approaches your house. Ensure that your lighting is positioned so that it illuminates all areas around your home, including your garden, trees and bushes and fences or gateways. 

As well as being an effective security device, outdoor lighting is also great for improving visibility outdoors especially during the night time, illuminating slopes or uneven surfaces on the ground. This can be great for elderly citizens with visual impairments and greatly reduce the risk of accidents. 

House Alarm System

Having a house alarm is key for good security. There are many types of alarm systems available to you. A monitored alarm system is a good option since it will automatically contact the police to alert them to the. 

There is a growing range of smart security systems which you could also consider. Smart security systems usually enable you to monitor all aspects of the home and surrounding area from a device such as a central smart hub or from an app on your mobile phone. This is a good option for people who live in remote areas where there aren’t as many people around to keep watch for you if someone suspicious approaches your home. It can also allow close family members to keep an eye out for suspicious activity from their homes too. 

If you require professional home security advice, it can be a good idea to contact a professional who can properly assess your home and provide a bespoke suggested for your needs.

Intercom System

An intercom system allows you to see who is outside of your house before answering the door, before you choose whether to open it or not. Some intercom systems also allow you to control whether the door opens remotely, which can be very helpful for elderly people with limited mobility. 

Visual Deterents

It can also help to have some visual deterrents that indicate to an outsider that your home is secure and well-protected. 

  • Outdoor lighting and visible cameras or CCTV can be great visual deterrents as well as security devices. 
  • Front gates are another good visual deterrent and a physical barrier to break-ins. 
  • Having visible and sturdy locks on your windows and doors are also essential since most break-ins at residential properties happen through poorly-secured windows or doors. 
  • Barking dogs are also considered to be a good deterrent too. If you don’t have a dog, you could consider getting a barking dog motion sensor or put up a beware of the dog sign instead. 

Some other theft deterrents include leaving your TV on when you leave the house to make people think someone is home. When leaving the house, ensure that you don’t leave any valuable items on display in your windows. 

Personal Alarm System

A personal alarm system is a great device for senior citizens especially those who live alone. Usually, a personal alarm system is a device that an individual wears around their wrist or neck that has a button they can press in the event of an emergency such as a fall or accident around the home. When pressed, the alarm is triggered to call either a medical professional or family member. Personal alarms are good for ensuring that an issue is identified and dealt with instantly, which is crucial because the quicker an elderly person receives medical attention after a fall, the better chance of recovery they have. As well as getting an elderly citizen medical help, they can also be used if an intruder enters the house, to raise the alarm. Personal alarm systems are great for giving peace of mind to family members and loved ones whilst an elderly person is living alone. There are a range of different personal alarm systems available that you can consider investing in, some that will operate only within the radius of their home and some that provide 24/7 monitoring regardless of location.  

Key Safe

A key safe is a mechanical box that is secured to the outside of your home which you can store keys inside. The box is accessed by a combination code, which is only known by the owner of the home and close family members or carers. Some elderly people may prefer to stay inside of their home as much as possible, and for those with mobility issues, answering the door can be a difficult challenge. Key safes for the elderly allow carers or close family members to let themselves inside of the home, and provides a much safer alternative to hiding a spare key somewhere around the outside of the house. They can also be very beneficial in the event of an emergency such as a fall, since medics will be able to let themselves quickly into the house to provide medical assistance.

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