Home Security for Elderly Parents: A Complete Guide
Senior citizens are some of the most vulnerable members of today’s society, leaving loved ones constantly worried about their safety. That’s why it’s so vital that the adult children of the elderly do what they can to boost and reinforce home security for senior citizen parents and loved ones. Thankfully, there are plenty of security measures for the elderly. Here’s a thorough guide from Billy.com to help you understand the dangers senior citizens face, home security options for senior citizens and more all within this complete guide.
Common Risks and Reasons for Eldery Home Security
Home security systems also provide protection people need no matter their age or physical capabilities. For instance, security systems can alert you and your parents of a fire or break-in. Use cameras to peek in on your mom and dad to make sure they turned the oven and stove off before leaving, or that they locked up all doors in the house before heading out or going to bed. A 2017 study based on the best available evidence from 52 studies in 28 countries from diverse regions, including 12 low- and middle-income countries, estimated that, over the past year, 15.7% of people aged 60 years and older were subjected to some form of abuse.
The Most Common Reason:
One of the biggest risks to elderly parents’ safety is physical abuse. Specifically, trusted caregivers may be the ones intentionally abusing senior citizens; it’s not always done by the hands of strangers or criminals.
The Second Most Common Reason:
The second most common reason for elderly home security is that caregivers could be sexually abusing vulnerable senior citizens. This is especially common for elderly individuals who have mental impairments and may not fully understand or even remember what’s happening to them. Home security for seniors is designed to mitigate such risks and make it harder for criminals to get away with their misdeeds.
The Third Most Common Reason:
Additional risks include verbal abuse, neglect and financial exploitation. It makes no difference if these infractions are committed by another family member, a caregiver or an intruder. Being able to keep your eye on your parents can help you sleep and night and not worry as much about the physical and mental well-being of your aging mother and father.
Now that you understand more about some of the more prevalent security risks to the elderly, it’s time to learn your options for preventing them.
Security Cameras for the Elderly
One of the most popular options is elderly security cameras. They’re a great choice if you don’t live in the same area or state as your aging parents. These cameras are designed to let you peek in on mom and dad from your phone or computer. Besides overall security, you can also use a camera as a means of two-way communication with your parents, allowing you to feel physically closer to each other.
Does your mother or father live in a nursing home or another type of senior citizen living facility? If so, you could be worried about elderly abuse, which is more common in such environments than you may be comfortable with. You can use a security camera to ensure your parents aren’t being abused or poorly cared for. Besides giving you peace of mind, home security for seniors can ease the nerves of the elderly, as well.
The Legal Aspect of Home Security for the Elderly
Whenever you talk about installing cameras, you’ve got to consider the legality of doing so, even if it’s a relative you’re discussing. It’s best that you sit down and talk with your parents about whether they even want you to install a security system for them, one where you have access to the camera feed. They may feel it’s more of an intrusion than a safety measure.
Once you have consent, you have to be careful that you don’t set up cameras anywhere there’s an expectation of privacy, such as the bathroom or bedroom. This is especially vital if your parents have guests or caregivers who use these rooms.
What about cameras in senior living communities? You’ll have to check specific regulations in your state. Most likely, you’ll need to post a notice outside your mother’s or father’s room door letting others know there’s a camera system in use. Additionally, the camera cannot be hidden in a nursing facility; it has to be easy to spot in plain sight. Your aging parent could have a roommate. If so, you’ll need that roommate’s permission before you can legally set up a security camera in the room.
Narrowing Down Your Options For Elderly Home Security
It’s great that home security technology has come such a long way, but you may find yourself crippled by having so many options to choose from. To reach a final decision you can be sure of, think of your needs and your parents’ needs. If you’d like to use the security system to also talk with your parents, focus on options that allow for two-way communication. Maybe you just need to occasionally peek in on your mom and dad to reassure yourself everything’s OK, in which case you’ll probably be most satisfied with a simple video monitoring system.
No matter what your security system needs are, your selection should be quick and easy to install, no matter if you install it personally or have a professional handle the task. There may also be ongoing maintenance that needs taking care of, so be sure to research that possibility while narrowing down your choices. We also recommend opting for a security system provided by a manufacturer or brand that has excellent customer service. You want to get quality assistance quickly and easily should something ever go wrong with the system.
Security System Internet Capabilities
Some elderly individuals have made efforts to become comfortable using the internet and its capabilities, while others experience befuddlement at the many things one can do via the internet. Either way, you and your parents may wonder if their security system will function without a connection to the internet. If the monitoring camera has a memory card, then it can continue to record if either your parents lose their internet connection or you lose it on your end. Monitoring systems that feature a proprietary network should continue recording if the internet connection is lost. Still, it’s best to double-check and make sure whether the camera or system will keep recording when there’s an internet outage.
Real-time monitoring of your parents requires a consistent internet connection. The same is true of security systems that alert you of whether doors are open.
Elderly Home Security Buying Tips
Besides narrowing down your options for a monitoring or security system, we also recommend you check out current user reviews for the systems or cameras you’re considering. That way, you have a solid idea of what (if any) issues you should prepare for and keep an eye out for with a particular system. Look to see if there are any common complaints or praises, or if it seems that most reviewer dissatisfaction comes from failing to read the directions or learning how to maximize the camera or system’s capabilities.
If you or your elderly parents can’t install the security measures on your own for one reason or another, professional home improvement companies will handle that for you. You should also check company reviews before hiring them. A great security system can deliver poor results if not installed correctly. We’d be happy to connect you to reputable and experienced professionals who can help you and your parents. A lot of our readers tell us that hiring a cleaning service for their parents was a great investment and we get plenty of compliments on our handymen for hire – perfect for those small projects that your parents need completed but you don’t have the time for.
Hopefully, you have a much better idea of your options for keeping your aging mother and father safe no matter if you’re physically present. Contact us if you need more advice on finding the right security measures or expert who can install a system or camera for you.