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Food for Thought

Safety is something that happen between your ears, not something you hold in your hands."
-Jeff Cooper


Safety Tips for Seniors


The chance that you or your family will become a victim of crime may be low; nevertheless, many lives can still be affected by the fear of crime. The best way to minimize the risk of becoming a victim of crime and to reduce the fear of crime is to take precautions. Most people already do this as part of their everyday lives - often without realizing it. You are probably aware of some of the suggestions listed below, but others may be new to you, and you may find them useful.

First things first… Leave an extra set of keys with a trusted neighbor, friend or relative not under a plant pot or doormat.


Now let’s move on to the crafty ‘Con’ Artists

  1. Resist falling for anything that sounds too good to be true – a free holiday, sweepstake prizes, winning the lottery, cures for cancer and arthritis, or a low-risk high return investment schemes.
  2. Check your bank and credit card statements carefully and report any discrepancies immediately.
  3. Never give your credit card, phone card, Social Security, or bank account number to anyone over the phone unless you have checked that they are from a bona-fide organization. Never give out your PIN number, even if the person says they represent your bank or the police.
  4. Never rush into signing anything – an insurance policy, a sales agreement, or a contract. Read it carefully and have someone you trust check it over. If you are told the offer is good only for today, close the door. Legitimate offers don't require you to buy immediately.
  5. Purchase goods or services from doorstep callers only if you know them.
  6. Refuse to let people who are unknown to you into your home.
  7. If you didn’t call for service or help and someone shows up, ask them to come back when they make an appointment. Service companies don’t just show up. They make appointments. View our list of certified senior friendly vendors.
  8. Ask for photo identification from service or delivery people before letting them in. If you are the least bit worried, ask them to wait outside. Close the door while you call the company to verify.
  9. If a neighbor or someone does a chore for you and asks for money you didn’t agree upon previously, refuse to ask for their service or let them do chores for you in the future.


Be Alert When Out and About

“For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go.
I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.”
-Robert Louis Stevenson

  1. Where possible, go with a companion, and stick to busy, well-lit streets.
  2. Carry your purse or handbag close to your body, not dangling by the straps; do not leave your purse where it could easily and quickly be stolen. For example on top of your shopping bag.
  3. Put a wallet in an inside coat or front trouser pocket. A money belt round the waist may be appropriate.
  4. Don’t carry credit cards or large amounts of cash you don’t need.
  5. Have benefits or other regular checks paid directly into an account.
  6. Whether you’re a passenger or driver, keep car doors locked.
  7. Be particularly alert in car parks and garages and park near the entrance.
  8. Sit close to the driver or near the exit when traveling on the bus, train, or underground.
  9. If someone or something makes you uneasy, trust your instincts and leave.
  10. Avoid short cuts through unlit alleys, parks or wasteland.
  11. If possible, purchase a mobile phone for emergency use, but be discreet when using it.
  12. If you are attacked on the street, make as much noise as possible by calling for help or blowing a whistle. Do not pursue your attacker. Call 911 and report the crime as soon as possible.
  13. Avoid walking alone at night. Try to have a friend accompany you in high risk areas . . . even during the daytime.
  14. Avoid carrying weapons . . . they may be used against you.
  15. Always plan your route and stay alert to your surroundings. Walk confidently.
  16. Have your key ready when approaching your front door.


At Home

“He is the happiest, be he king or peasant,
who finds peace in his home”
–Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

  1. Never open your door automatically, install and use a peephole.
  2. Lock your doors and windows. Install deadbolt locks on all your doors.
  3. Vary your daily routine.
  4. Use "Neighbor Watch" to keep an eye on your neighborhood.
  5. Leave lights on when going out at night; use a timer to turn lights on and off when you are away for an extended period.
  6. Notify neighbors and the police when going away on a trip.
  7. When you are away, remember to cancel deliveries such as newspapers and arrange for someone - a neighbor's child, perhaps - to mow the lawn if need be. Arrange for your mail to be held by the Post Office, or ask a neighbor to collect it for you.
  8. Be wary of unsolicited offers to make repairs to your home. Deal only with reputable businesses.
  9. Keep an inventory with serial numbers and photographs of re-saleable appliances, antiques and furniture. Leave copies in a safe place.
  10. Report crime or suspicious activities immediately.
  11. Keep your home well lit at night, inside and out; keep curtains closed.
  12. Ask for proper identification from delivery persons or strangers.
  13. If a stranger asks to use your telephone, say no.
  14. Never let a stranger into your home.
  15. Never leave notes on your door when you are gone.
  16. Never give out information over the phone indicating you are alone or that you won't be home until a certain time.
  17. If you arrive at home and suspect a stranger may be inside, DON'T GO IN. Leave quietly and call 911 to report the crime.


When we started writing the safety tip found above, some made us feel good. We had already implemented them. Some made us wince. We had some more work to do.

But all of them rang true, and reminded us of the reason it is important to pay attention to safety. So we will challenge ourselves and you, to stretch one's limits and foster an appreciation of both the world at large and to put all these safety tips into action.




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