Tips on staying safe for the elderly

Caring for the frail and elderly is everyone's responsibility. Photo: Supplied

POLOKWANE – Specialist investigator, Mike Bolhuis, told Review that apart from woman and children, the elderly are marked as soft targets because of their age.

“Unscrupulous fraudsters and petty criminals are increasingly preying on vulnerable senior citizens who are seen as “soft targets”. Bearing this in mind, people should take more precautions,” Bolhuis advised.

He says the elderly should be especially careful when they are home alone, leaving their home or when they are approached by strangers as this is when they are at their most vulnerable.

You may also want to read: Elderly woman killed in Mookgophong old age home complex

Here follows his tips to stay safe

At home:

• Install good strong locks on doors and windows.

• Never leave keys in hiding places near the door in case a set is misplaced or lost. If needed, leave a spare key with a family member or a trusted neighbour.

• When service or delivery people come to the door, demand that they give identification before letting them in.

• When installing an alarm system, ensure the system can detect burglary, fire and is set up for medical emergencies.

– Make sure that the street number on your house is large, well-lit and unobstructed so that emergency personnel can find your home quickly when needed.

You may also want to read: Elderly couple attacked on Tzaneen farm, Limpopo

Outside the home:

• Avoid leaving the house unaccompanied.

• Avoid carrying large amounts of money but do carry a cellular phone that is on and fully charged which you can use in an emergency. Programme in an emergency number.

• Always let someone know where you are going.

• Never leave your handbag or wallet unattended

• It is advisable to use a direct deposit service for social security and other regular cheques.

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• Be wary of offers that sound too good to be true such as a free vacation, miracle cure ect.

• Do not give out your personal information freely when asked for it over the phone.

• Be careful of people trying to rush you into insurance policies or other schemes.

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Riana Joubert

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