Basic Strategies to Protect Your Senior Family Member From Crime

Seniors are a particularly vulnerable population when it comes to crime. According to the National Crime Victimization Survey, seniors are more likely to be victims of violent crime than any other age group. Many seniors are reluctant to report crimes for fear of being seen as frail or helpless. This can leave them vulnerable to repeat victimization.

Some specific strategies can be employed to prevent senior family members from becoming victims of crime. We discuss some of these strategies in this article to provide a basic foundation for protecting our aging loved ones.

Protecting Seniors From Cons and Scams

Fortunately, there are steps that seniors and their families can take to help protect them from becoming crime victims. First, seniors must stay informed about the latest scams and schemes criminals use. Many resources available online and in print can provide this information.

The reality is that many predators lurk about trying to scam seniors. These include scams in which nefarious telephone scammers identify themselves as being with the Internal Revenue Service or IRS.

Through IRS telephone scams, the criminal caller attempts to scare a senior into thinking he or she must provide money immediately or that the older individual will face immediate consequences, including being arrested. It is important to understand that the IRS never telephones taxpayers in this manner.

There are other types of telephone scams that target seniors as well. In another type of telephone scam, the criminal will call the victim and pretend to be someone they know, such as a grandchild or a friend. They will then ask for money, usually to help with an emergency. Of course, the caller is not actually who they say they are, and the victim loses money in the process.

This type of scam can be very costly for seniors. In some cases, they may lose their life savings. And because seniors are often more isolated than other members of society, it can be difficult for them to recover from being scammed in this way.

That’s why it’s so important for seniors to be aware of these types of scams and to be careful when giving out personal information or money over the phone. If you have a loved one who is a senior citizen, make sure you talk to them about these scams and warn them about how to stay safe.

Protecting Seniors When Away From Home

As seniors age, they often become more susceptible to crime when they are away from home. This is because they may be less able to defend themselves or because they may be more trusting of others. For this reason, seniors need to take precautions when they are away from home.

One thing seniors can do is make sure someone knows where they are going and when they will be back. This can help ensure that if something happens to them, someone will know right away and can get them the help they need. Seniors can also keep their homes and car in good condition, making them less likely to be targeted by criminals.

It is also important for seniors to be aware of their surroundings and careful about whom they trust. They should avoid walking alone at night and always carry a phone in case of emergency. If seniors feel like they are being followed or harassed, they should immediately seek help from a trusted friend, family member, or the police.

Seniors should always have a mobile phone on them when they leave home. Attention should be paid to making certain that an appropriate mobile device that a particular senior can use easily is selected.

By taking these precautions, seniors can help reduce their risk of becoming crime victims while away from their homes. By remaining vigilant and knowing how to protect themselves, seniors can enjoy their Golden Years enjoying the community at a reduced risk of being victimized by criminals.

Special Crime Prevention Programs for Seniors

Seniors and their families can also take advantage of special programs offered by law enforcement agencies and victim service organizations. These programs provide education on crime prevention and support and assistance to victims. For example, the Los Angeles Police Department’s “Safe Seniors” program provides older women and men information on protecting themselves from fraud and identity theft. It also provides information about how to stay safe online as well.

Victim Service Organizations

Victim service organizations also assist seniors who have been victimized by crime. Some organizations offer counseling and support groups, while others provide help with filing police reports or obtaining restraining orders. Many organizations also provide referrals to other community services, such as affordable housing or meal programs, if needed.

Check-In on Senior Family Members Regularly

Family members can also help protect seniors by checking in on them regularly, either in person or by phone. If family members notice that a senior seems to be withdrawing from activities or socializing more than usual, it may be a sign that they are being victimized by crime. If this is the case, family members should encourage the senior to report the crime to the police and seek assistance from local victim service agencies.

In conclusion, seniors can reduce their risk of becoming crime victims by taking these precautions. With the help of their families and community resources, seniors can get the support they need to recover from a crime and move on with their lives if they are victimized. Although mentioned at the end of the article, in keeping seniors safe, nothing is more important than other family members staying in regular contact with senior loved ones to ensure that all is well in their lives. Open and trusted lines of communication make seniors more likely to share concerns that they may have about something occurring in their lives.