BLOG: Safety for seniors - | WBTV Charlotte

BLOG: Safety for seniors

I was contacted recently by residents of a senior residential community who had questions about safety and security as it pertains to senior living. So, I though I'd share my recommendations in this week's blog.

Senior living in and of itself presents some unique concerns. In a 2009 issue of Security Today, it was reported that according to the U. S. Department of Justice, senior citizens usually experience lower rates of crime. But when seniors are victimized, there is a 92 percent chance the crime will occur in or near their homes.

The first thing that comes to mind is the perception of many criminals that the senior community is easy to prey upon.  It is true that there's a segment of the criminal culture that focuses on seniors, and one of the most common crimes are phone scams.

During phone scams, criminals prey on senior citizens by influencing their emotions and their ability to access significant sums of money.

Usually these scams are well planned, coordinated and often involve groups of both male and female perpetrators either operating within the United States or abroad.  

This crime can be countered by: 

  1. Never giving bank account information to someone you do not know.
  2. Do not allow someone you don't know to engage you in extended phone conversation.
  3. Do not agree to accept or transfer money for someone you do not know.

Another common scam is being confronted by a stranger who attempts to befriend you for no apparent reason.  

This potential concern can be countered by:

  1. Always travel around town (i.e. shopping, doctor visit, banking, etc.) with a friend.  When two people are together, they are much less susceptible to being confronted by a white-collar criminal.
  2. Travel with your cellphone and should you feel you're being lured into an uncomfortable situation, make a call to a trusted friend of family member and explain the situation to them.

All senior citizens must also be prepared to handle concerns such as medical incidents and driving accidents.  Make sure you carry on your person at all times the contact name and number of a trusted person you know, either a close friend or family.  Those people should be aware what your wishes are should you become a victim of a medical incident or traffic accident.

And don't forget about safety and security in the home.  Here are some recommendations;

  1. if your stairs are wooden, have a decorative carpet runner installed to prevent the risk of slipping.
  2. For home security, seek out a security professional that can conduct a home security survey for you.  

This will ensure that basic security protocols are in place at your residence.

The list of safety and security concerns affecting senior citizens is significant and definitely worth your time researching, for your sake or that of a family member. For more information on senior safety and security, visit www.fbi.gov and look up Scams and Safety.

Copyright 2017 WBTV. Al rights reserved. 

Karl de la Guerra, PPS, CLSS

Don't let the bad guys win. Karl de la Guerra is WBTV's expert on personal security. He has spent the past 36 years in the protective services industry, with experience in the U.S. military, law enforcement, and international corporate security. For more information, visit teamKDI.com.
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