Living alone? Try these tips to help you feel safe and secure
If you have reservations about living on your own, particularly as you age, you’re not alone.
Whether through divorce, bereavement or simply an empty nest, many people find they’re living alone later in life possibly for the first time in their lives.
While this independence can be wonderful, it can also be the cause of some nervousness. Here’s our simple tips and tricks for feeling safe while living alone.
Use light sensors
A sensored light outside your front or back doors can provide peace of mind to you at night. You’ll know if anyone is at the door and be able to see them clearly. It’s also a powerful deterrent – an intruder is more likely to flee if the lights come on.
Install a shower seat
Many people have fears about falling as they get older, and one of the most dangerous places in the home for slipping is the bathroom. Install extra support bars around the shower if possible or simply add a plastic seat you can use in the shower to sit instead of standing.
Get a safety alarm
Personal safety alarms mean help can always be close to hand even while living alone. These devices are worn around the neck or wrist, and if you get into difficulty, can be pressed and connected to emergency services or even alert a friend or neighbour that you need help.
Guard against nuisance calls
Nuisance and scam calls can be distressing for anyone, but can be particularly confusing to the elderly. Registering with the Telephone Preference Service can help eliminate unwanted calls – it’s illegal for marketers to use it if you’re registered on this list.
Use locks on windows and doors
Putting locks on windows and adding additional locks – such as bolts – to doors can be a simple way to add to your peace of mind and help you feel as secure as possible in your own home.
Ask for ID
Reputable businesses, charities and tradesmen who come to your door will be able to show you their credentials or identification, so don’t be afraid to ask before you go any further. Never sign a contract on the spot – take it away and think about it first and show it to someone you trust.
Ask to phone them back
If you ever receive a phone call or email that you’re unsure about, a simple way to gain peace of mind is to ask to phone them back. For example, if someone claiming to be from the bank telephones you and you feel unsure, ask to phone them back, then look up the customer service number yourself. It’s a simple way to deter scams and help you not be taken in.
Timers on lights and heaters are wonderfully useful – they can help you keep your energy bills down but also help you feel safe and welcome at home. For example, setting your entryway or kitchen lights to go on at a certain time each evening means you won’t have to return home in the dark. Smart devices like Philips Hue light bulbs, which are connected to wifi, make this easier than ever, and may be well worth the investment.
Do you have any tips for feeling safe while living alone? Share your experiences in the comments below
Rachel - Silversurfers Assistant Editor
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