Tag Archive for protection

Elderly Care Resources: Senior Shopping Safety

Elderly Care Resources: Senior Shopping Safety

 

This blog was spurred by recent events in our local grocery store that effected many senior citizens while shopping. We felt that sharing was important, bringing light to the new ways people are continually taking advantage of the elderly. Senior shopping safety is an important topic as thieves are getting bolder and more daring by the day. Purse snatching and in-street (parking lots included) robberies are one of the most common crimes against the elderly population. Crime prevention for the elderly needs to be made the public’s job. We all need to do better watching out for each other.

~

As I entered the grocery store to do my weekly shopping this past Friday, it seemed a bit busier than normal but just a normal almost-Spring day. Living close to numerous senior communities, the store is often filled with the smiles of the elderly, many of whom we chat with regularly. As I headed down the first aisles, I noted a man that seemed out-of-place entirely too close to an elderly woman who was perusing the juices. I thought I saw him touch her purse. Watching harder, he left the aisle, and she seemed okay. I shrugged it off. A few aisles later, there he was again, and his hand again touched an unsuspecting woman’s purse. As I was fifty feet from him, and he walked towards me, his hand dipped into another purse; however, this time our eyes met. He retracted his hand quickly and headed towards me down the aisle.

“Do you have a quarter?” He asked attempting to change the reality of the situation. He had no cart. He never did. No items. No basket with groceries. He wore gang colors, and had his cell phone out, idling all too close to anyone who he tried to communicate or interact with. He was getting too close to me. He had all of the signs and gave off all of those feels; the ones that tell you to run. I should have known, and I should have immediately done what was coming next. I loudly verbalized he needed to get away from me and abandoned my cart to hurriedly find management. Security swung in to full force very quickly, and this purse-pocketer was ushered into whatever dungeon they use to confine until law enforcement arrives. I stayed long enough to give my statement and continued on with my day. (I am sure it wasn’t a dungeon, but I told myself that anyway to ease some stress.)

~

As I thought back on the day, I realized that many of the seniors I passed in the store aisles had their open purses in their cart, while they shopped with their backs turned. I noted some were counting their paper money with their wallets open, exposing the shiny credit cards in the high-bean grocery store lights. Their conversations usually sounded of their social security troubles and medical woes. I remembered back when my Grandmas were alive and nodded to myself a little. One would be talking openly about how much money she withdrew and had on her from the bank when the teenage neighbors came over. She never locked her door, either. The other was no better, participating in dozens of “fake” “charities” for years before anyone noticed. Myself included.

In this day and age, it’s best to be safer than sorry, and take all of the proper precautions necessary to keep yourself safe. There are so many things in this world and things can get confusing. Here are a list of helpful tips and suggestions to keep yourself safe when you are out shopping.

  • Just because a person smiles does not mean they are safe.
  • When shopping in public, make sure your feet and shoes are dry. Grocery store floors are very slippery when wet.
  • Do not open your wallet and expose money in public places.
  • Do not discuss money or banking loudly in public.
  • Do not shop at night, or be out late in the dark, by yourself. Go with a friend or family member.
  • When in public, keep your purse or fanny pack in front of you at your belly. This allows you to wrap your arms around it where ever you are. If your purse is not comfortable or equipped for this, consider a cross-chest style bag for easier carrying comfort.
  • Do not leave your purse in the shopping cart when you are shopping.
  • If you must leave your purse in your cart, consider buckling it in to the child locking seat belt, zipping your purse completely. This places another level of work for any thief to accomplish before getting anything from your purse.
  • stock photo

  • When leaving the store and heading to your vehicle, if you feel suspicious or afraid of someone in the parking lot that might be watching you, following you, or moving towards you; make sure to get a store employee to walk you to your car, and see you on your way.
  • Do not answer the phone if you do not recognize the caller ID or phone number.
  • Do not participate in mail “charities” and “donation” requests. If there is one you are interested in, consider having a family member verify they are leading a valid cause. Never agree to something like this while out shopping. Wait until you can research it for yourself.
  • Do not loan money to strangers or neighbors or people on the street.
  • Do not carry extra cash. Just take what you need.

Remember, being aware and paying attention in every situation is key. Know your surroundings and pay attention to your personal bubble. No one should be entering your personal bubble except your doctors, family members, and people you trust. If you are out shopping and something like this happens, find someone in management or law enforcement and report the issue immediately.

Personal, Home & Phone Safety in 2014

thCA2J7MNA

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.
If you’ve ever thought about how you cannot be around your loved ones as much as you’d like, or worried that the distance between you may be a problem in the event of an illness, or medical issue, you should consider having extra care for these individuals in place. Checking out the Senior Care Solutions at Care.com may be what you’re looking for.
Find Quality In-home Care for Seniors

Phone Safety
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
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.