Safety Tips For SeniorsPosted on December 30, 2013 by ElderCare Resources in Blog, Caregiver Education, Community Resources, Education, Elder Law, Geriatric Care Management, Independent Living, Senior Center, Transportation
I am sure that most people have read in the news recently about the senior Citzen who was victimized by unscrupulous members of the community. Below are some simple tips to assist our seniors with their Safety. For more information visitwww.bermudapolice.bm
Confidence tricksters or ‘con artists’ are people who pretend to be something they are not – usually in order to obtain money or valuables or to get you to do something that ordinarily you would not do.
Common ‘tricks’ include
- Knocking on your door and asking for a drink – this allows the trickster to enter your home to check out what is inside and to steal money and valuables when your back is turned.
- Knocking on your door and asking to use the telephone or to use the bathroom (for the same reason as ‘a’ above).
- Asking to borrow taxi money because the trickster’s vehicle has (supposedly) broken down (a common trick in Bermuda).
(d) Asking directions to the home of Mr. and Mrs. ….. (this may or may not be a genuine enquiry).
- Asking if you want any jobs done; for example, painting the house, gardening or cutting the grass.
- Pointing out that your home needs urgent repairwork; i.e. scraping and repainting the roof, plastering or replacing timbers.Usually this is accompanied by a request for money up front(to buy the necessary supplies).If you part with your money, you are unlikely to ever see it again – or the trickster!
- Two people working together.One person will distract you while the other enters your home behind your back to steal your cash or property.
While it must be clearly stated that not everybody who comes to your door is intent on committing crime, the elderly are particularly at risk from confidence tricksters. Why should this be? Why are the elderly more vulnerable or gullible? The reasons are many and include the following;
- Most elderly people are less mobile than when they were young and are therefore more dependent on other people to help them lead a normal life.(2) People who live alone are often appreciative of the interest shown by strangers who strike up a conversation with them and are more likely to let such people into their homes.(3) Older persons are generally more trusting of strangers.(4) Some seniors hoard their savings rather than banking their money, or they may keep their money at home because it is difficult for them to get to and from a bank.
Locking out thieves
Protecting your home and property should be your first priority. Start by making your home as secure as possible and follow the advice contained in the Police brochure ‘Protecting Your Home’. The brochure is available free of charge from all Police Stations.
You should pay particular attention to your main door. Ensure that this door is of solid construction and is in good condition. Install a good quality deadbolt lock and fit a door chain. If the hinges are on the outside (the door opens outwards), fit a pair of hinge bolts in the door frame on the same side as the hinges themselves. Finally you should install a peephole or door viewer at eye level.
Before Opening The Door To A Caller
Put your door chain on and check to see through your door viewer who the caller is. If you do not know the person, ask the caller to tell you his or her name and the nature of his business, and ask him to show you some form of identification. Check the person’s identity card carefully. Genuine callers usually do not mind if the door is closed while this is done. If necessary, ask the caller to wait until you verify by telephone that the caller is the person whom he says he is, then telephone his/her supervisor. If you are still uncertain about the identity of the caller, ask him or her to come back later or another day and make further enquiries to confirm the persons identity.
Note: Police Officers, Census enumerators and service personnel, such as Belco and BTC employees, are all required to carry some form of photographic identification with them while on duty. See page 2 of the new telephone directory, which shows an illustration of the I/D card carried by Telco employees.
If In Doubt
If you have any doubts about the caller’s identity, try and get a good look at him or her and note down all that you can remember. In particular, try and recall what was different about your caller. What was he or she wearing and did your caller come by bike or car? You should then call your nearest Police Station and report your concerns.
Telephone Calls From A Stranger
If a stranger calls you and asks questions about you and your finances, be very careful what you tell him or her. Remember that Census enumerators will telephone first to make an appointment and then call at your home to ask questions – they will not ask about your personal details over the telephone.
You should NEVER disclose information to a stranger about your bank accounts or finances. Likewise you should NEVER invest in a product or company without first checking it out thoroughly. And finally, DON’T be afraid to hang up if you are pressured over the telephone for more information or to give your caller money.