Quite shocking. But I am not surprised. Most seniors are very trusting and let strangers into the house. For example, when we go to deliver products to houses, many times we find that the elderly, alone at home, opening their doors wide, inviting us in and offering us refreshments!
However, not everyone is like that and some of our customers have shown us that it is possible to be just as friendly and courteous without compromising on safety.
Take the case of Mrs. M. She lives in a ground floor apartment in a complex with about 25 apartments. Her son lives in Canada and the daughter in Saudi Arabia. They take turns and ensure that each one visits at least once every six months and stays for a couple of weeks, but the rest of the time Mrs. M lives by herself. She has some mobility issues, but manages to get by with a walker.
Here are a few things she does to keep herself safe:
1. She has a good rapport with the security chap at her complex. He is an old guy himself, but he asks a hundred questions before he lets us in, even if we have been there many times before.
2. She has built excellent relationships with her neighbours. One or the other is always peeping in and checking if she is all right. Obviously, it helps that she has a sunny disposition and seems to be able to make them laugh with her.
3. She has had installed a grill door which allows here to keep the main door open without compromising on safety. She says she make it a point to keep the grill door locked all the time and opens it only to let the maid in and ensures that the maid locks the grill again as soon as she is in.
4. She stations herself near the window which also has a grill with large enough gaps to allow her to complete most transactions through the window without having to let people into the house. So the milk, post, couriered packages, and almost everything else other than the gas cylinder gets to her through the window. As for the gas cylinder, when I enquired, she told me that the same guy has been delivering her gas cylinder for the last 18 years and she know him very well and would not allow anyone other than him to deliver.
I am sure these are fairly easy ways to keep oneself safe. Remember, the theives are looking for easy targets and even the smallest of efforts you take to keep yourself safe will go a long way in detracting them from trying to target you.
Have a safe life!