Article category: Home Care, Senior Care, Eldercare, In-Home Care, Caregivers.
Home Care Tip — For Many Seniors, ’Tis The Season To Escape To Warmer Climates, and For Burglars To Hit a Jackpot
During the colder months, many seniors choose to get away for a few days or weeks to warmer climates. When they do, it is important to make arrangements to protect their home, so, upon their return, they are not surprised that they have become victims of a burglary.
Many Seniors Are Old School
Many seniors are old school and they remain subscribers to old school paper newspapers, which are often delivered to their homes. We all are subscribers to junk mail, flyers, circulars, coupon booklets, etc, etc, etc.
If your aging loved ones live in a single family home in a residential community, a lot of that mail — wanted and unwanted — ends up on their door knob, front porch, driveway, mail box, or simply front yard.
Tell-Tale Signs That Seniors Are Not Home
Unfortunately, when all that mail is just left there for few days, and it accumulates, this is a first and loud tell-tale sign that the homeowner is not home. Here is a list of major signs that burglars are looking for:
- Full mailbox,
- Porch full of newspapers, flyers, etc.,
- Uncleared driveway after the snowfall,
- No cars in the driveway — or car left in the driveway in the same spot for days,
- No lights in the house,
- Telephone answering system that is full and does not accept new messages,
- Telephone answering system with a greeting: “We are out of town until…”,
- Social media posts from you — or your family members — which indicate that homeowner is out of town,
What Can We Do?
There is plenty that can be done to deter burglars from considering to break into your aging loved ones’ home. Here is a list that is as complete as we could research and compile for you:
- Place your mail on-hold with USPS,
- Place newspaper delivery on hold,
- Ask a family member or a neighbor to pick up mail and newspapers daily (and offer to return the favor when they vacation),
- Leave home lights on — if possible use light timer in 2-3 different parts of the home at different times and on different days,
- Arrange to clear the driveway after a snowfall,
- Leave a car in the driveway. Arrange to have it re-parked from one side of the driveway to another,
- Do have an answering machine on. Many burglars call to see if anyone is answering calls. They also know that many calls are screened. If they ring and nobody — even an answering machine — answers the call, they know that the home is empty,
- Do not leave “I am out of town…” as your greeting message,
- Make sure that the answering machine is not full, as that would indicate that nobody is at home. Arrange for someone to listen to and delete unwanted messages to assure the system is not full,
- If possible, have phone calls be forwarded to your cell phone number,
- Do not leave “We are enjoying Florida” posts on social media, etc.,
- Ask family members and friends to refrain from leaving similar posts that would indicate that your aging loved one are out of town. Many burglars are tech savvy and seek out such posts.
Of course, installing an alarm system and placing yard signs may be a good idea, but installing an alarm without addressing the herein-above mentioned items may be entirely insufficient. After all, there are plenty of examples of homes with an alarm system that have been easily broken into. Lastly, hiring a house sitter, or asking a caregiver to house sit and complete some cleaning projects may be the safest option.
We hope that after reading this article, sharing and discussing it with your aging loved ones, you will help Mom and Dad implement some of strategies. After all, for many seniors ’tis the season to escape to warmer climates, but after implementing those strategies, they will be able to do so with a peace of mind.
Do you have a home protection tip that you could share with us? Email us today.
With ❤︎ for the Elderly…
Article topic: Home Care, Senior Care, Eldercare, In-Home Care, Caregivers.