Home Instead advises on keeping seniors safe this holiday season

With an increase of over 21%* in robberies throughout the country and recent assaults against the elderly, Home Instead Senior Care in Waterford encourages seniors to stay safe and make their home more secure.

“The majority of older people wish to maintain their independence and live in their own home for as long as possible, so it is important that we come together as a community and take particular care to look out for older people and take security measures to help people stay safe “, said Danette Connolly of Home Instead Senior Care in Waterford.

Robberies are also expected to increase during the holiday season – homes are more frequently left empty as many people, old and young, are out shopping for Christmas presents or spending time with family and friends. Presents and treats are also more visible this time of year as people leave gifts out under the Christmas tree, which is usually placed near a window or they leave empty boxes outside the home so temptation really increases for burglars this time of year.

To help keep Waterford seniors safe, Home Instead Senior Care encourages older people to take the following steps and make their home more secure:
· Keep front and back doors locked at all times, even if you are at home. Windows should also be locked.
· Do not open the door to strangers. If a repair or sales person arrives to the home do not let them in without calling their company to verify their identity.
· Keep your house lit at night. This shows signs of life and activity, a darkened home night after night gives burglars the illusion that the house is vacant.
· Keep Christmas presents hidden and secure. Do not leave presents under the tree in full view of burglars who may be peering through windows, keep presents hidden and secure until Christmas day.
· Do not leave a spare key outdoors. Do not hide your key outside under a doormat, a flowerpot or any place that may be easily uncovered by a burglar.
· Call the police if you come home and find a door or window opened. Do not enter the house if there are signs of forced entry.

For further information on Home Instead Senior Care log on to www.homeinstead.ie or call 051 333966.

Notes to editor:
*CSO Recorded Crime Quarter 3 2010 publication