Personal, Home & Phone Safety in 2014
Although we have touched on the topics of safety in previous years, we must revisit this topic frequently with our elderly relatives and seniors we may know. Why must we do this? Because our world is constantly changing, and it is no longer the 1950s, where leaving your front door unlocked was the norm. Because thieves thrive on technology, and via phone calls, more than mail scams. Because neighbors are no longer always friendly, trust worthy individuals. Regardless of the reasoning, it just has to be done.
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Nowadays, it’s easy to have a phone with caller ID. They even make telephone now that will speak to you who is calling, so there is no guessing as to who it is. Scam artists are still calling the elderly, and posing as grandchildren, lost in another country needing funds to return home. They’re preying on the emotion of one of the most giving, and trusting age groups in America. This is exactly why they do it. Most of the time their calls come through as “unavailable” or “unknown.”
We always encouraged our elderly relatives to NOT ANSWER at all if they do not know the number on caller ID, or the name showing on the phone. They may protest, and say it could be important. It is this point that I would implore that you get them an answering machine, so that they can be reassured that anyone important will leave a message, and they can call right back.
This is important because people are still getting swindled out of thousands of dollars each year, and with cuts in Medicare and Medicaid, and the trouble with Social Security—elderly folks and seniors need to hold tight to their money plans, and not veer off course.
Home safety is an important thing that many families do for their relatives, but sometimes forget about the total picture. OF course, you’re probably readying the house for your loved one. Grab bars, slip resistant rugs and pads, life-saving alarms and buttons, emergency phone lists, and more. However, you also need to check the structure’s safety, too. Ensuring that locks are working on all exterior doors, and batteries in fire alarms are working. Make sure that outdoor lighting is working, and think about motion lights that come on automatically with movement outside.
Things like this are necessary in making your loved one feel more secure, and also for your own peace of mind. You’ll know that Aunt Betty is safer with working locks, and that she can see outside in her front and back yard if there is movement or motion. You know she’ll have her list of numbers, and know who to call if there is an emergency.
It’s often the simple things that we may forget, or just not think of, that can cause unneeded stress and strife for both your elderly relative, and yourself. Making sure there are extra batteries for flashlights, a plan for emergencies if the power goes out, and what you’re going to do to reassure your relative they are okay after turmoil.