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Protecting Seniors From Crime During The Holidays

December 3, 2010 Leave a comment

When the holiday season approaches, there is a strong likelihood that many senior citizens will be among the hundreds of thousands of happy shoppers out and about preparing for the season. Unfortunately, another group of seasonal shoppers is getting ready for their holiday “prizes” as well. They are the thieves prowling the streets, shopping malls and parking lots, hanging out around ATM machines, calling on the telephone and showing up at front doors without invitations. Senior citizens are looked upon as easy targets. A survey of 4,000 elderly people by charity Age Concern found that “Almost half of those aged 75 and over were too afraid to leave their homes after dark because they believed they would be subject to verbal abuse or mugging.” It does not have to be nighttime however for the thieves to strike; in fact, the likelihood of many senior citizens being out after dark is small.

There are a number of precautionary tips for senior safety during the holidays and throughout the year. Taking greater control of personal security can be both a money and lifesaver. Carry a purse or handbag close to the body. It makes it considerably harder for a robber to snatch valuable possessions when they are held closely. Don’t leave a purse resting on top of a shopping bag. This would make it very easy for a passing thief to grab. Consider wearing a money belt around the waist. Don’t carry unnecessary cash. Carrying excess money will tempt robbers. Try to arrange for any money to be sent directly to a personal account via bank transfer rather than physically carrying it there. Walk down busy, well-lit streets. Walking or shopping in busy areas means that it is less likely that personal security will be compromised. Avoid short cuts. Although it may be quicker taking a short cut, it may also be less safe. Stick to tried and tested routes when driving and entering or exiting a store. Buy a mobile phone in case of emergency. Store names of family and friends on the phone so that they can be accessed quickly in the event of an emergency.

Happy holidays by *ValentinaKallias on deviantART

Be careful when answering the door. Installing a spy hole and asking the caller to identify him or herself if you don’t know who they are. A chain guard is also a useful addition so that any ID can be presented and examined without completely opening the door. The best policy however, it not opening the door at all when you do not know the person who is calling. Credit and debit card information. Giving credit or debit card details to any unknown company or person is not advisable whether done on the phone, the Internet or at the front door. Carry a panic alarm. Keep a panic alarm close by in case confronted by an attacker. Attackers don’t like loud noises as it draws attention and many will simply run away when activated. Seniors do not have to live in fear of con men, as they are no more at risk than anyone else as long as they are aware of their surroundings and use personal security precautions to protect against con artists, robbers and scammers. Most people will never have to deal with these perpetrators, but being aware that they exist is important and will allow seniors to have a safe and happy holiday season.

800Seniors.com is a leading referral system in the Elderly Healthcare industry. We are located on 5400 Atlantis Court, Moorpark, California 93021. 800Seniors.com provides the perfect match between seniors searching for health care provisions such as Home Care, Home Health, Skilled Nursing, Hospice Care, Medical Supplies, as well as a variety of Assisted Living Baton Rouge and Care Homes nationwide. Take the confusion and hassle out of the search. For more information call 1-800-768-8221, visit http://800seniors.com or fax us your details at (805)517-1623.

About The Author: Gloria Ha’o Schneider is an expert in senior citizen and baby boomer issues. Her topics revolve around Senior Living and Healthcare to provide the latest information to this demographic as well as their families and loved ones.

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