Sheriff Department

Senior Safety Tips

Senior citizens can be easy targets for such criminals as burglars, con artists, purse snatchers and muggers. Many seniors feel frightened and helpless, but they do not have to. You can help prevent crime by learning how criminals operate and how to foil them. Seniors do not necessarily need physical strength, agility or speed to protect themselves. What you do need is to BE ALERT, CAUTIOUS and SELF-CONFIDENT!

The following are safety tips which should be considered by every senior citizens

At Home

  • Always keep your doors and windows locked even when you are home.  Install deadbolt locks on all your doors that you need a key to unlock.

  • Install a peephole in your front door and always look through it before opening the door to someone. Don’t open the door to someone you don’t know.

  • Ask for proper identification from delivery persons or strangers. Don't be afraid of asking if they are legitimate, they won't mind.

  • If a stranger asks to use your telephone, offer to place the call for them NEVER let a stranger into your home.

  • Never give out information over the phone indicating that you are alone or that you won't be home at a certain time.

  • Have smoke detectors installed in all sleeping rooms. Replace the batteries in them once each year. Don’t forget to test them weekly.

When You Go Out

  • Before you go out, secure your residence properly, leaving a light and radio on and locking the doors and windows.

  • Avoid walking alone. Try to have a friend accompany you - even during daylight hours.

  • Walk confidently and at a steady pace. Avoid doorways, bushes and alleys where someone could hide.

  • Be cautious of strangers that approach you in public. Don’t give them money.

  • If you carry a purse, don't dangle it from your arm. Carry it securely between your arm and your body. Don’t leave it in the shopping cart.  If a purse snatcher tries to steal your purse, your personal safety may depend on not trying to hang on to it.

  • Don't carry any more cash than necessary. Many grocery stores accept checks and automatic teller cards instead of cash. Don’t carry your social security card, leave that at home in a safe location. Have your paycheck or Social Security check deposited directly into your account.

Fraud & Scams

  • Don’t give information over the phone to anyone that calls you.

  • Ask a lot of questions. Scam artists don’t often have good answers to many questions.

  • Get recommendations for all home repairs from family or friends.

  • Don’t keep secrets from family. If someone tells you not to tell someone, tell someone you trust.

  • Learn to say NO. Scammers are persuasive. If that doesn’t work they may use threats.

  • Don’t make quick decisions. Discuss ALL financial decisions with a trusted family member.

  • Have a very trusted family member go over your finances; this includes running a credit report to catch identity theft.  

Most importantly, avoid anything that seems too good to be true.