Home safety Tips for Seniors

  • Make it hard for a burglar to break in
  • Good lighting
  • Sturdy doors
  • Secure windows
  • Secure locks
  • An alert Neighborhood Watch program
  • An alarm system for the exterior (including doors and windows)
  • Motion detectors for the interior and exterior
  • A barking dog

Safety Tips for Seniors

  • Avoid parking garages if possible.
  • Don’t park in poorly lit areas of parking lot.
  • Don’t park near alleyways or corners of buildings.
  • Don’t park near shrubs or bushes.
  • Avoid obstructed views from building interior.
  • Don’t park near large vans or trucks.
  • Avoid vehicles with lone occupants.
  • Avoid suspicious person(s).
  • If you encounter a suspicious person, don’t exit your vehicle--leave the area, notify security or law enforcement, and drive to safe area.
  • Keep windows rolled up and doors locked at all times.
  • Have a cellular telephone
  • Know your general location while traveling in your vehicle.
  • Know nearest ‘safe’ place you may drive to.
  • Don’t be afraid to call law enforcement.
  • Before you exit your vehicle, look around!
  • When arriving at home or office, look around.  Observe your home and immediate area.  Look for broken windows, removed screens, open doors, broken lights.
  • If you observe any of these danger signs, LEAVE IMMEDIATELY!
  • Call 911 from a safe location.
  • Avoid walking alone.  Have a friend or coworker accompany you.  Have security accompany you.
  • Keep car keys in hand at all times.  They ensure fast entry into your vehicle/office and make a good defensive weapon.
  • Walk confidently and at a steady pace
  • Make eye contact with people when walking
  • Do not respond to conversation from strangers on the street – continue walking
  • If you carry a purse, hold it securely between your arm and your body
  • Never leave your purse or billfold in plain view or in the pocket of a jacket hanging on a door or chair
  • Personal property should be  marked with your name or driver’s license number
  • If you are in the elevator with another person, stand near the control panel – if you are attacked, press the alarm and as many of the control buttons as possible

Elder abuse

The US has:

  • 44 million persons age 60+.
  • 36 million people with disabilities.
  • 364,512 cases of people living at home were reported with 43% confirmed.
  • In the last 10 years abuse of elder persons has increases 150+%.
  • Domestic Elder Abuse is a family problem, almost 90% of the abusers were family members.

Institutional Elder Abuse

Abuse that occurs in residential facilities for older persons. (e.g. nursing homes, foster homes, group homes, board and care facilities.

Abusers are persons who have legal or contractual obligation to provide elder victims with care and protection. (e.g. staff, professionals, paid caregivers).


  • The refusal or failure to fulfill any part of a person’s obligations or duties to an elder.
  • Failure of a person who has fiduciary responsibilities to provide for an elder.
  • Failure to provide an elderly person with necessities, food water, clothing, shelter, personal hygiene, medicine, comfort, personal safety.


The desertion of an elderly person by an individual who has assumed the responsibility for providing care to the elder, or by the person who has physical custody of the elder.

Self-neglect OR Self-abuse - What to look for

  • Dehydration, malnutrition
  • Untreated medical conditions
  • Lack of necessary medical aids
  • Hazardous or unsafe living conditions
  • Unsanitary or unclean living quarters
  • Inappropriate and/or inadequate clothing
  • Homelessness

Physical Abuse - What to look for

  • Bruises, black eyes, welts, lacerations.
  • Rope/restraint marks.
  • Open wounds, cuts, punctures, untreated injuries in various stages of healing.
  • Sprains, dislocations, internal injuries.
  • Laboratory findings of medication overdose.
  • An elder’s report of being hit, slapped kicked or mistreated.
  • An elder’s sudden change in behavior.
  • The caregiver’s refusal to allow visitors to see and elder alone.

Sexual Abuse - What to look for

  • Bruises around breasts or genital area.
  • Unexplained venereal disease or genital infections.
  • Unexplained vaginal or anal bleeding.
  • Torn, stained, or bloody underclothing.
  • An elder’s report of being sexually assaulted or raped.

Emotional or Psychological Abuse - What to look for

  • Emotionally upset or agitated
  • Extremely withdrawn
  • Non-communicative or non-responsive
  • Unusual behavior usually attributed to “dementia” (e.g. sucking, biting, rocking)

Financial or Material Exploitation - What to look for

  • Sudden changes in bank account or banking practice.
  • Inclusion of additional names on a bank signature card.
  • Unauthorized banking, remaking of wills, advanced directives, or other legal matters of any kind.