We have nearly 50 million citizens age 65 and older living here in the United States and Canada. These seniors represent one of the fastest growing population segments and also, unfortunately, a group that is commonly targeted for crime. I know I often worry about my mom’s security and am happy that she is a pretty savvy lady, BUT any senior can be at and additional risk for crime vs. younger age groups.
As the senior population continues to grow (they estimate it will nearly double by 2050 in the U.S. and 2035 in Canada), need for senior safety education also grows. As part of the Master Lock’s ongoing commitment to keep consumers safe through every life stage and season, they offer these top safety tips for seniors.
Safety Tips for Seniors
- Be Alert When Out and About:Property crimes represent the highest share of crimes against those 65 and older – nearly nine out of 10 – according to the National Elder Law Network. Master Lock recommends that seniors be alert and aware of their surroundings when out of the house and to keep valuables protected. For example, always lock cars, even if they’ll only be unattended for a few minutes. Keep packages and valuables out of sight, and always check the area around your car before entering or exiting. When out in public, women should wear their purses close to their body and men should carry their wallet in an inside coat or front pant pocket.
- Lock Up Home Safety:Typically a place of comfort and refuge, seniors should never have to worry about safety in their own home. For added protection beyond traditional door and window locks, safeguard sliding glass and patio doors with the added strength of a Master Lock 265DCCSEN Door Security Bar and consider a home alarm system to alert against intruders. Keep doors locked both when you’re home and away, but allow access to a friend or family member in case of emergency by storing a spare key in a trusted key safe, such as the Master Lock 5422D Key Safe.
- Secure Personal Items in a Group Home Environment:Misplaced or stolen belongings are a frequent complaint of nursing home residents. Keep valuables safe by storing them in an easy-to-use, locked safe that only you and a trusted companion know the combination to. Small items, such as credit cards, jewelry or cash, fit in the portable Master Lock 5900D SafeSpace, while larger items, like documents or memorabilia, can be stored in a fire-resistant safe from Sentry Safe.
- Protect Against Identity Theft: Mature consumers (ages 50 and over) represent the largest demographic of identity theft victims, according to the Federal Trade Commission. Why? Consumers in this age group typically have more assets than younger consumers, making them ideal targets.Reduce your risk by never carrying your social security card; shredding documents that contain any identifying information; keeping personal information such as bank statements, Medicare statements and social security numbers in a locked safe; and storing credit card numbers in a safe location for easy retrieval if they’re lost or stolen. The Master Lock Vault – a free, digital safe deposit box – is a secure, reliable location for storing credit card numbers and digital copies of important documents for easy access from any smart phone or computer.
- Think Twice Before Divulging Personal Information:Seniors are also major targets of fraud, such as telemarketing scams, according to the American Association of Retired Persons. Follow the general rule of thumb that if an offer seems too good to be true, it probably is. Never rush into signing anything, and never give your credit card, Social Security, Medicare or bank account details to anyone over the phone. When in doubt, check with the Better Business Bureau or police.
We received the Master Lock 5422D Key Safe mentioned above and it really is a great way to store extra keys that are securely locked away and only accessible with an access code. You can set your own combination using up to 12 letters, numbers or both. Since it has a protective weather cover that protects freezing and jamming, you can leave it outside. For a senior, this is great way to leave an extra key for friends and relatives to come into your house during an emergency or to keep an eye on things when you are traveling.
We are going to be installing our own safe at our rental properties when they are vacant. It is a pain to have to be available when painters, carpenters, etc. are coming to do work, so this way we can just leave a key inside and give them the code – then change the code again later!
Reader Giveaway: One lucky Thrifty Jinxy reader will win their own Master Lock 5422D Key Safe. To enter, just complete the entry form below by 11:59pm ET on 3/24/15. Good luck!