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5 Crime Prevention Steps to Keep a Senior Safe

October is National Crime Prevention Month, a month to raise awareness about issues related to public safety and the various methods available to prevent crime. The goal of this month is to create safer communities for everyone, including senior citizens

What Attracts Criminals to Seniors?

  • Criminals find senior citizens attractive targets for many reasons:

  • Older Americans are more likely to have good credit, making them the perfect target for con artists.

  • Seniors are often too embarrassed to report a crime.

  • Traditionalists and early baby boomers were generally raised to be trusting, making them more likely to believe false claims.

  • Age-related changes can make it difficult to stop a crime while it’s happening.

Just because seniors are more vulnerable to crime doesn't mean they can’t be independent. There are many preventative measures seniors can take to protect themselves from the criminals who are targeting them. Here are 5 crime prevention steps to keep seniors safe.

5 Tips to Protect Older Adults from Crime

1. Become Aware of Crimes Targeting Seniors

Educate yourself about the common crimes committed against seniors and share that information with your aging loved ones. This is the first step to crime prevention.

Here are a few of the most common scams perpetrated against seniors:

  • Health insurance fraud

  • Medicare scams

  • Telemarketing scams

  • Home repair scams

2. Use Best Practices to Protect Finances

Financial crimes can be particularly challenging for older adults because such crimes aren’t always immediately obvious. Cons can overcharge seniors or periodically draw small sums of money out of their account. It can take years before anyone notices.

Here are a few best practices seniors can use to protect their finances.

  • Don’t let other people withdraw from your account.

  • Only buy from trusted companies.

  • Use direct deposit to accept all payments, including benefit checks.

  • Never give out sensitive information over the phone. This includes credit card, Social Security, Medicare, and banking information.

3. Be Proactive About Securing the Home.

Many seniors are retired and spend more time at home. This makes them more likely to answer the phone when a scammer calls or open the door when a criminal knocks.

  • Don't let strangers inside your home

  • Always remember to lock your doors, even while at home.

  • Get added to the National Do Not Call Registry.

  • Screen calls to reduce the risk of falling victim to a telemarketing scam.

4. Stay Aware While Outside the Home

Crime doesn't just occur inside the home. Seniors can also be victimized outside of their home.

Here are a few ways seniors can protect themselves outside of the home.

  • Don’t leave a purse or wallet unattended; it only takes a few seconds for someone to steal it.

  • Never walk alone at night.

  • Have car keys ready whenever walking to the car.

  • Only bring the cash and credit cards you need.

5. Take Advantage of Technology

Technology can be a lifesaver when it comes to senior safety. Not only can it help prevent crimes, but certain tools like cameras can help catch criminals after the fact.

Here are a few options to consider.

  • Install cameras to record visitors.

  • Set up automatic door locks to guard against unwelcome visitors.

  • Have automated lights installed that periodically turn on when you aren’t home.

Crime Against Seniors Can be Devastating

It can be devastating for seniors to be victimized by criminals. Some seniors suffer physical or emotional damage after a crime occurs. Others struggle to recover financially and can even lose their independence. The best way to protect seniors from the damaging effects of crime is to prevent it from happening

If you are concerned about a senior loved one’s safety, it may be time to consider moving to a senior community like Randall Residence. Contact us today to learn more about our living options in Michigan, Ohio, and Illinois.

Randall Residence

300 White Oak Road Lawton, OH 49065