Atlanta, GA (PRWEB) December 2, 2004 -- There was once a time when Holidays with elderly family members were characterized by warm memories and Norman Rockwell-type scenes in which large, extended families gathered together to celebrate the season. Now, however, the upcoming Holidays likely will find an increased number of vulnerable elderly subject to becoming the victim of some sort of violent crime, the result of a growing number of older citizens, often separated from immediate family connections.
The figures tell the story: According to the Federal Department of Justice, persons 65 or older were the victims of millions of a host of crimes including robbery, assault, violent crimes against their persons, and purse snatchings in the period from 1992-97, the most recent figures on the DOJ web site.
That?s why Richard Blackwell, founder of SafeHome, Inc., (www.SafeHome.net) whose NeighborLink (TM) warning systems to protect seniors, urges families to take this time to evaluate the security needs of elderly family members. ?Much is rightfully made of such ?non-violent? crimes as identity theft, but the physical vulnerability of our seniors makes them a prime target for becoming victims of violent crime against their person or property,? Blackwell explains.
He notes that the problem of ensuring security for senior citizens is made even more pressing by the fact that in many instances there is a physical separation of long distances that make it even more difficult for family members to ensure the safety of elderly relatives. It was Blackwell?s concern for senior safety that led him to investigate ways of empowering seniors with an affordable, mobile warning system using the best technology available.
The result was NeghborLink (TM), an early-warning alert system capable of notifying a number of neighbors, family members and even 911 by simply pushing the button on a hand-held device about the size of a remote automobile keypad. ?Many times, the question of what to buy an elderly family member is a challenge,? Blackwell muses. ?Children and family caregivers , who are often the same people, want to do what is best for Mom or Dad or others, and we believe the best gift if that of providing a sense of safety and security made possible by NeighborLinkä ¡nd our other technology.?
Further information on SafeHome and NeighborLink (TM) may be found at www.SafeHome.net .
SafeHome and NeighborLinkä ¨ave also researched and provided a number of tips that will help provide increased safety for the elderly:
Safety In Your Home
For the majority of people, a feeling of security is found in the safety of their homes. It is vitally important to take fundamental precautions to secure your home.
?Install good locks on doors and windows. Use them! Don't hide keys in mailboxes, planters or under doormats. Instead, leave an extra set of keys with a neighbor or friend.
?Ask for photo identification from service or delivery people before letting them in. If you are the least bit worried, call the company to verify.
?Be sure your street address number is large, clear of obstruction and well-lighted so police and medical personnel can find your home quickly.
?NeighborLink allows seniors to quickly notify neighbors, family members and community services of burglary, fire and medical emergencies, all the while offering freedom and mobility not available in more expensive, static systems.
?Join a Neighborhood Watch group to look out for each other and help the police.
Safety Away From Home
It is important to take extra care in securing your home when you are going to be away for any length of time. Not only should your home be secure but it should also appear lived in.
?Secure all windows, doors and the garage before you leave.
?Leave a radio playing to indicate that someone is home.
?Leave one or two lights on, preferably with timers that turn on according to how dark it is outside.
?Discontinue mail and newspaper deliveries.
?Let your trusted neighbors know that you are going to be away, for how long and where you can be contacted if necessary.
Safety On The Street
The following are ways you can reduce your risk of victimization and increase your sense of personal safety.
?Go shopping in pairs or in a group.
?Carry your purse close to your body, not dangling by the straps. Don't carry credit cards you don't need or large amounts of cash.
?Walk in the center of the sidewalk, away from alleys and doorways.
?Sit close to the driver or near the exit while riding the bus, train, or subway.
?If you suspect you are being followed, cross the street, go to the nearest home, service station or business and call the police.
?If someone or something makes you uneasy, trust your instincts and leave.
Watch Out For Con Artists
One has to remember that con artists are clever actors appearing friendly and trustworthy. When faced with the real thing, we can be fooled in person or on the telephone. Remember that con artists only want one thing from you - your money.
?Don't fall for anything that sounds too good to be true - a free vacation, sweepstakes prizes, cures for cancer and arthritis or a low-risk, high yield investment scheme.
?Never give your credit card, phone card, Social Security or bank account numbers to anyone over the phone. It's illegal for telemarketers to ask for these numbers to verify a prize or a gift.
?Don't let anyone rush you into signing anything - an insurance policy, a sales agreement, a contract. Read it carefully and have someone you trust check it over.
?If you're suspicious, check it out with the police, the Better Business Bureau, or your local consumer protection office. Call the National Consumer League Fraud Information Center at 800-876-7060.