Law enforcement experts say that burglars are attracted to certain types of homes, ones that make it easy to enter and find valuables. There are certain characteristics of a home that burglars find to be more desirable to break into than others. Unfortunately, many of these easy targets are homes that belong to aging adults. Family caregivers with elderly relatives who are aging in place at home must take steps to discourage burglars and secure the senior’s home against it.
What Burglars Look for In a Target
Senior homes are often targeted for burglaries because they provide the easiest access to the inside and aging adults are often not physically capable or strong enough to implement the necessary steps to the exterior and interior of the home. To protect an aging adult’s home from burglars, family caregivers and elderly care providers must take it upon themselves to make the property more difficult and less attractive to break into.
Burglary Prevention Tips—Exterior
For the exterior, burglars are seeking an easy, dark and obscured entrance to the home. This is usually a first-floor window or door. So many people forget to lock the doors that many bad guys simply walk in. Trees and shrubs that obscure windows are also desirable, because burglars can spend time breaking in without being observed from the street. Finally, many senior homes have poor lighting at entrances and near windows, encouraging break-ins.
Anti-burglary tips or the exterior of a home include trimming bushes and shrubs down to manageable sizes around the home. Family caregivers can install bright exterior lighting at doors and windows to throw off burglars. Another good idea is to use motion lights at all exterior doors to startle and discourage intruders. Some people hang “Beware of Dog” signs in windows and on their gate to make the home appear even more secure.
Burglary Prevention Tips—Interior
When it comes to interior safety, family caregivers and elderly care providers can do a lot to minimize the risks of burglary. Windows and doors should always be locked, even when people are home. No windows should be left uncovered or exposed, both to increase privacy but also to prevent burglars from peeking inside to spot valuables. Instead, they should be covered with blinds, curtains or window film.
Because many seniors don’t move around that often, family caregivers and elderly care providers will have to focus on moving things around inside and outside for a lived-in look. Family caregivers can also vary which interior lights are on each night and even set some on a timer to go on and off at different times. Homes should also be equipped with an alarm system if possible that can be set or disarmed by family caregivers and elderly care providers at night.
With some preparation and coordination, family caregivers and elderly care providers can do a lot to reduce the risk of a burglar choosing an elderly adult’s home to break into.
If you or an aging loved one are considering elderly care in Purcellville, VA, please contact the caring staff at Assisting Hands today. (703) 982-0050.
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