Unfortunately, this has become such a problem that many states have implemented laws. Often older people are targets for the same reasons women and children are: They’re not as physically able to defend themselves, and they’re often financially dependent on others. So the strategies for women and children will work for the elderly as well.
If elderly people are being abused through domestic violence, they have the same opportunities to call domestic abuse hot lines and seek shelter from an abusive situation. As frequent targets of crime, it’s especially important for them to have a plan to protect themselves.
Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia
If you have a relative suffering from Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia, you may wish to care for your loved one at home for as long as possible before considering nursing home options. Rome security takes a different turn in this case, because not only do you want to keep intruders out, but you also want to keep loved ones in. The statistics tell us why: 90% of dementia patients wander at some point.
If you’ve taken steps to secure your home using tips and advice from earlier in this section, there are some additional things you can do for more security in your special situation.
Top Ten Tips for the Security of Alzheimer’s and Dementia Patients
1. Install sliding bolts and hook-and-eye locks in unusual places such as the top of doors or windows, above the line of sight, to prevent wandering.
2. Install an additional lock on exit doors to make unlocking the door too complicated. In fact, you could install numerous locks, but leave half of them unlocked. If the patient gets systematic about going down the line and turning the lock knobs, he’ll always be locking some as he unlocks others.
3. An ID or Medic-Alert bracelet or necklace (including at least a name, phone number, and medical condition) is a good idea.
4. Tell neighbors about your loved one’s condition. Though you may wish to keep your privacy, your neighbors can be a big help by being alert to possible wandering.
5. Camouflage windows with decorations to help distract the patient’s attention from them. Tapestries, blinds, even hanging glass decorations can grab the patient’s attention enough that he forgets about the window—and possibly escaping through it.
6. Leave squeaky doors squeaky to alert you if the patient wanders. Or simply set your alarm system.
7. Put decals on sliding glass doors, both to prevent the patient from walking through them, and to camouflage them.
8. Secure doors leading to garages, basements, balconies, attics, and other obscure ways of exiting the home.
9. Use a simple doorknob alarm on the patient’s bedroom door to alert you to nighttime wanderings.
10. Consider a locator device to help find your loved one if he does get out and wander. Some devices use the same technology as the ankle bracelets used for house arrest. These proximity alarms sound when the person moves beyond a set perimeter.