I just celebrated a birthday. While I don't yet consider myself old, getting older can sometimes leave me feeling a bit depressed. I realize that time moves very fast. And I also realize that this means that my mother is much older. She still lives alone in the same apartment where I spent part of my teen years. Because of this, it is important that she feels secure in her apartment. This month I've partnered with Master Lock to talk about the importance senior safety and provide a few tips for keeping your aging parents safe in their homes.
Unfortunately, times have changed. We see this on the news every day. Crime rates are soaring, and keeping your family safe is even more important than it may have been in years past. I have personally experienced a home burglary which was devastating. While they did not get away with many belongings, it left quite a scar on the feeling of whether or not we were safe in our home. Sometimes just putting locks on the doors is not enough. Installing an alarm system, providing extra security on windows and doors, and monitoring what is going on in your home can provide extra security… both physically and emotionally.
Seniors, like my mother, may need help figuring out which technology or gadgets they should invest in to protect themselves. Talking to my mother about WiFi and smartphones is challenging enough. The conversation about home security is not much better.
Here are a few tips for helping the senior in your life beef up their home security. Of course you can also do these things in your own home.
Sign Them Up for Master Lock Vault
My mother has this stack of crumpled papers that is now well over 10 years old where she jots down all of the usernames and passwords to her online accounts. Some are from yellow pads, some are notebook papers, and others are sticky notes. She stapled them all together. And when I ask for her the password to something it is a 1 in 10 chance that she will actually find it. YIKES! Is this secure? No, not one bit! And it is certainly not efficient. On her recent bout of staying at my home after her injury I told her that we are going to sit down and fix that situation. Master Lock Vault is the solution. Master Lock Vault allows you to securely store all of your account information in one place. Check out my previous post for more information.
Put an Extra Set of Keys in a Lock Box Outside of the Home
Doing well-being checks is an important part of checking on the seniors in your life. I can remember having to call my mother's neighbor to knock on her door and tell her that her home phone was off the hook. But what if it's not that simple? I live over 45 minutes away. I can't just easily drop by. You may be in the same situation. Or you may even live in another state. However, putting an extra key in a lock box can provide an easy way for trusted neighbors, friends, or even the police to enter the home if need be. The Master Lock 5422D Push Button Portable Key Safe can hang on a door knob or fence and be accessed with a secure code when needed.
Install a Home Security System
In my opinion a home security system is a must these days. Not only can it protect your home or apartment from break-ins, but many modern systems also monitor for fire, smoke, carbon monoxide, or personal accidents via a alarm bracelet or charm. You can also interface with many home automation systems, electronic locks, garage door openers, and lights. Security cameras inside and outside the home can provide even more protection, and can be viewed from your smartphone.
Install a Door Security Bar
As mentioned, my mother lives in an apartment building. While she can't get an integrated security system because that may require wiring and holes in the walls, at least enforcing the door of her apartment can provide more security. The Master Lock 265DCCSEN Door Security Bar can be propped against a traditional door, or used to secure a sliding patio door if needed.
Change the Batteries in all Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
The smoke detectors in my home are interconnected. This means if one gets triggered, they all do. However, they are not hard-wired into my electricity, so I still have to check and change the batteries. The ones in my house let off a very annoying beep when the batteries get low. And I swear it always starts in the middle of the night. I hate it, but it is a necessary evil. Depending on how long they have been in their homes, many seniors may have much older units that do not have these features. Consider swapping them out for newer units that combine smoke and carbon monoxide detection and that provide a low battery warning.
Install a Fire Extinguisher on Each Level of the Home
Accidental fires can happen at any time. In the event that the smoke alarm goes off, the family needs to be able to act fast. Consider keeping several fire extinguishers around the home. Obtain smaller, lighter units that a senior can easily carry without assistance.
Clean Up Items that Could Cause a Fall
Seniors have a way of accumulating a lot of stuff. Trust me… I know. Try to get the senior citizen in your life to work with you to eliminate items in the home that may cause a fall. Boxes, furniture that is no longer being used, and other items that are blocking clear pathways to the bathroom, kitchen, and front door, can cause unwanted bumps, bruises, and falls. Do some rearranging to make sure that there are clear, wide walkways to all parts of the home.
These are just a few tips that could help the senior in your life feel safer while at home. What are some of your ideas?
Master Lock would like to help you feel a little more safe at home. 3 of my readers can enter to win:
a Rafflecopter giveaway