Last Updated on April 29, 2024 by Alarm New England

It always pays to be vigilant when you or an elderly loved one are living alone. Senior citizens are often targeted in home security incidents. Keep reading if you would like to know more home security tips for seniors.

Important Things To Know

  • Criminals often target elderly people for burglary and at-home related crimes because they are more vulnerable. Seniors often have predictable routines, allowing criminals to know when they are present and not present at the home. Plus, senior citizens are assumed less likely to retaliate back if targeted during a crime.
  • According to data from the CDC, slips and falls are the most common form of injury for people aged 65 and older. Medical alert devices such as panic buttons can be a lifesaver in the event of a dangerous at-home fall. Other devices designed to use in the home, like automated alarm systems and video doorbells can also help the elderly stay safe at home.
  • Keeping windows locked, doors secured, and staying away from the bad habit of hiding a spare key somewhere outside the home can help to keep a senior’s home safe from potential burglars.

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Why Seniors Are At Risk, And How To Keep Them Safe At Home: Our Best Tips

As we get older we become more and more vulnerable to potential criminal acts. Home security for seniors doesn’t just mean preventing a home invasion, it also means protection from a much more likely threat: medical emergencies.

Even a short fall can cause severe issues for seniors who are less physically able. By combining medical alert systems with home security systems, you can provide your parents with comprehensive protection, even when you’re not around to help.

The elderly can also benefit from cutting-edge features like home automation and doorbell cameras, allowing them to be better able to control their homes at the touch of a button.

Why do criminals target the elderly?


  • Mental and Physical Health: The biggest reason why seniors are a likely target of crimes is that they are likely to be living alone and isolated from the outside world. Also, they may have mental or physical disabilities, making them easy targets for con artists and other scammers. Older people are more likely to fall for all sorts of email and phone scams that younger people would ignore. Also, since older adults tend to be less physically active, burglars can see their inability to fight back as an opportunity.

  • Predictability: Seniors tend stick to the same routines, making it easy for a criminal to guess when they won’t be at home.

  • Location: Many seniors live close to town so that they don’t have to walk or drive as far to get groceries and see the doctor. Cities are more likely to have higher crime rates than rural locations.

  • Crime Reporting: Seniors are assumed to be less likely to go to the police or be able to fill out a proper incident report after a crime is committed, making it easier for the criminal to escape justice.

How can we protect our aging parents?


Medical Alert Systems

While the threat of a break-in is always scary, a health crisis is a far more likely occurrence. Falls are actually the most common cause of injury for adults over 65 (according to the CDC). If you’re looking for a security system, also consider getting a medical alert system with a panic button so that help can come as quickly as possible in the case of a fall or another emergency.

elderly person using walker with both hands

All someone has to do to summon emergency services is press and hold down a button that can be carried on their person. Some medical alert systems have advanced features like automatic fall detection. In addition to calling for help, the system can also alert family members and caregivers of a problem.

Home Automation

Another way to help out a senior is to have a home automation system that will automatically activate alarm systems at a certain time every day. This is a big help for seniors who suffer from memory issues and have difficulty remembering to regularly arm their system. An automated system can be also used for heat and lights at the home.

honeywell lyric thermostat inside a family living room

Smart thermostats make it easy to keep the home at the right temperature, and smart lighting can be put on randomized timers so criminals are less able to figure out when people are in the house and make break-ins far less likely.

Smart home security systems can be activated remotely via smartphone to provide seniors with greater freedom to leave the home without needing to worry. These simple and easy-to-use apps that control the system are designed intuitively so that even those who aren’t used to using smartphones or computers can figure out how to use them.

Doorbell Cameras

A doorbell camera is another great security device that helps give peace of mind to seniors and their families. Criminals are far less likely to attempt to break into a house that has a doorbell camera system, as the camera captures them the moment they set foot on the front porch. As a burglar, the last thing you want to do is risk getting your face caught on tape and ending up with the police.

skybell doorbell camera on wooden doorframe

Besides acting as a deterrent, video doorbells will also let seniors watch the outside of their house and grant entry to family members, friends, and trusted service workers without having to get up and walk over to the door.

Most doorbell systems integrate with smartphones and can be used remotely. This means seniors can see who’s coming up the front porch, even when they’re not at home.


How to Burglar-Proof a Senior’s Home

Follow these home security tips for seniors to help keep your loved ones safe and secure.

  • Tip 1: Keep doors and downstairs windows locked at all times.

An unlocked window can allow somebody access to the home even when the senior is inside it. Doors and windows are the most vulnerable points of any home, and as such require the most attention. Read our guide on how to reinforce your doors to learn more.

  • Tip 2: Make sure the front door has a peephole (or a doorbell camera system).

Always make sure you are able to recognize the person on the other side. Do not open the door even slightly if you are uncertain about who the person is and what their intentions are. Additionally, have a mobile phone at the ready when people are at your door. If there is something suspicious going on, call the police right away.

viewing a doorbell camera video feed from mobile phone
  • Tip 3: Reinforce your home’s weak points.

Install solid wood or metal doors for added reinforcement to prevent someone from being able to break through the door. Install double glazed glass panels on your windows if you don’t already have them.

  • Tip 4: Avoid hiding your key outside your home.

When going on vacation, do not leave keys outside the house (for example, under doormats or inside a flower pot). If you must leave a key behind, give it to a trusted friend or family member.

The Bottom Line

As individuals age, it becomes more important to put safety measures into place proactively. No one wants to be caught up in a bad situation unprepared. The elderly can be the most at-risk when it comes to both accidents and targeted crimes inside of the home. By taking some simple steps and following the tips listed here, seniors can be safer and better prepared in the event of an at-home emergency. From medical devices like panic buttons, to easy-to-use doorbell cameras, to simple “common sense” habits like keeping doors and windows locked, older home owners who heed this advice will remain safer in the long run.


For more about home security and how you can best achieve piece of mind at home, take a look at this article all about burglar alarm systems.