LifeStation Medical Alert System Reviews

We’ve been looking at LifeStation Medical Alert Systems for some time now.  A recent anonymous call to their customer service center revealed a professional sounding gentleman (despite calling on a lovely Sunday morning).  These “secret shopper” calls can reveal a lot about the business practices of senior service providers (and any other providers for that matter).

LifeStation has options for both traditional in-home medical alert systems as well as a mobile cellular options.  There are a number of LifeStation Medical Alert system reviews online, and the biggest complaint we’ve noticed is a coverage issue throughout then entire home.  This is a common complaint for a lot of traditional in-home medical alert systems, as each home is a different set up.  Some homes have many walls, some are small and some are big.  Each of these factors will affect the ability of the emergency response pendant to communicate with the base station.  Always do your due diligence when buying a medical alert system for yourself or a family member.  Here’s a list of questions to ask before buying a medical alert system.

The LifeStation Medical Alert System

  • Name:  LifeStation Medical Alert SystemLifeAlert Medical Alert LifeStation Medical Alert System Reviews
  • Website Info:
  • Auto Fall Detection? :  no
  • Equipment Cost:  $0
  • Monthly Cost:  $27.95 per month (based on quarterly billing)
  • Cancellation Policy: No Fees, Cancel at Anytime
  • Features:  Waterproof Pendant, Wireless, 24/7 Monitoring, 32 hour back-up battery for base station (in case of power failure), up to 500 feet range (pendant to base station).

Product Review: LifeStation Medical Alert System

LifeStation LifeStation Medical Alert System ReviewsThe LifeStation Medical Alert System is an excellent option if you’re looking for a traditional medical alert system. LifeStation has options for both in-home pendant style buttons, as well as a mobile help button that operates on a cellular network.  LifeStations touts their pendant as being waterproof which is one of the items we like about modern medical alert pendants.

LifeStation owns and operates it’s own UL listed monitoring center, and provides 6 weeks of training before each of their operator specialists are certified.  The equipment is easy to set up, and the price is in-line with industry averages.  They send the equipment out with no installation costs, or shipping (if ground is acceptable).  Everything is included in the monthly costs associate with The LifeStation medical alert system.

The Bottom Line: LifeStation Medical Alert Systems

Senior List Approved LifeStation Medical Alert System ReviewsWe’re recommending LifeStation Medical Alert Systems because they satisfy many of our top criteria for medical alert system providers.  They offer short-term agreements, there is no equipment to buy, the pendant is waterproof, and installation is easy. If another family member in the same household requires monitoring as well, for just $3.99 per month, they’ll provide an additional pendant and include monitoring. We’re putting LifeStation on our recommended list of medical alert system providers.

Would You Like a Medical Alert Recommendation?

Medical Alert Buyers Guide

If you’ve used The LifeStation Medical Alert System or know someone who has, please give us your opinion in the comment section below!


This post may contain affiliate links. We only consider affiliate relationships on products that we recommend to friends and family.

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5 Mistakes To Avoid When Shopping For Medical Alert Systems

Sometimes you just have to learn the hard way… If you browse at the medical alert systems that we’ve reviewed here on The Senior List, you’ll see a great many comments from folks that made mistakes purchasing a medical alert system for family or for friends.  Either they bought a bad one, bought the wrong type, or got into the wrong agreement. We’re trying to help you avoid the pitfalls that others have fallen into by sharing the 5 mistakes to avoid when shopping for medical alert systems!

myHalo Fall Detection Pendants 300x165 5 Mistakes To Avoid When Shopping For Medical Alert SystemsMistake #1.  You bought the wrong type medical alert system

Did you know there were different types of medical alert systems?  There are traditional in-home medical alert systems, and their are cellular (mobile) medical alert systems.  If that wasn’t hard enough… There are also 2 different types of in-home medical alert systems; The traditional pendant (1 button) type medical alert system AND the speakerphone (talk-thru) type medical alert system.  Do your research so you know exactly what you’re looking for.  Then choose the best of that breed.  Our medical alert system buyers guide can educate you, and walk you through the process.

Mistake #2.  You signed a long-term agreement

This is a big issue for consumers and there a lot of unhappy community members here on The Senior List that have signed multi-year agreements only to find out they have no out clause for any reason.  You must read the Terms and Conditions document that all providers must supply you with.  Don’t be lazy with this one, it’s very important.  We recommend never signing for a term over a year.  Even if you stick with our 1 year max rule-of-thumb, make sure you have an out clause and that you can cancel at any time.  Any medical alert providers that we recommend will offer a cancellation provision (or we won’t recommend them).

Mistake #3.  Your alert system doesn’t have adequate coverage

Different alert systems have different coverage areas (usually between 400-800 square foot radius from the base unit).  Make sure the alert system you choose can cover the spaces your loved one is most active in.  Sometimes you have to move the base unit around a bit to find just the right (central) location. Remember, for traditional in-home medical alert systems, the base unit will need to be plugged into your home phone wall jack.

Mistake #4.  You waited too long to purchase

For a lot of folks, it takes a crisis to occur before they realize they need a PERS (personal emergency response system) device for their loved one.  By this time, there’s been a fall, or an acute event and someone’s been hurt.  Don’t put it off too long, if you’re considering the need for a medical alert system, it’s probably time to take action.  It’s good piece of mind for $25 per month.

Mistake #5.  The alert system you bought is too hard to set up

Some of these systems are tough to set up, and there is little or no support.  We like providers that offer quality packaging, intuitive set-up instructions, and help or support when you need it.  Keep in mind if the support isn’t adequate during set-up… Imagine how bad it might be down the road after you’ve been a customer a while!

These are just a few of the top mistakes to avoid when making a medical alert system purchase.  If you do your research ahead of time (and read the fine print) you should end up a satisfied customer.

Would You Like a Medical Alert Recommendation?

Medical Alert Buyers Guide

Bay Alarm Medical Alert System Reviews

Bay Alarm Medical has been family owned and operated since 1946.  We’ve had our eye on them for some time, and have appreciated our interaction with Bay Alarm’s staff over the past few years (answering questions, etc.).  Bay Alarm Medical has options for both traditional in-home medical alert systems as well as the more mobile cellular options.  You can find many Bay Alarm Medical Alert System Reviews by visiting their web page, or by searching them out yourself.  Always do your due diligence when buying a medical alert system for yourself or a family member.

The Bay Alarm Medical Alert System

  • Name:  Bay Alarm Medical Alert SystemBay Alarm Pendant Bay Alarm Medical Alert System Reviews
  • Website Info:
  • Auto Fall Detection? :  no
  • Equipment Cost:  $0
  • Monthly Cost:  $24.95 per month (based on 3 month billing)
  • Cancellation Policy: No Fees, Cancel at Anytime
  • Features:  Waterproof Pendant, Wireless, 24/7 Monitoring, 32 hour back-up battery for base station (in case of power failure), up to 1,000 feet range (pendant to base station).

Product Review: Bay Alarm Medical Alert System

Bay Alarm Kit Bay Alarm Medical Alert System Reviews

The Bay Alarm Medical Alert System is a great option if you’re looking for a traditional medical alert protection. Bay Alarm has been in business since 1946, and so far we’ve been impressed with staff’s responsiveness to questions and the like.  Since customer service is a big deal to The Senior List team, this speaks volumes.  Bay Alarm offers in-home medical alert system options as well as cellular mobile options.  The in-home medical alert system is offered for use with a traditional land line, OR a cellular style base station option (if you don’t have a land line in the home).  Bay Alarm also has a mobile hand held alert system with GPS for those that wish to leave the home environment.

If the pendant battery should start to run out, the pendant will send a signal to the base station.  This will prompt the base station to contact the call center, and a new pendant will be sent out immediately (free of charge).  The pendant battery is rated at 5 years, so this is an infrequent occurrence.

The Bottom Line: Bay Alarm Medical

Senior List Approved Bay Alarm Medical Alert System ReviewsWe’re recommending the Bay Alarm Medical Alert System because it satisfies many of our top criteria for medical alert system providers.  They offer short-term agreements, there is no equipment to buy, their staff is attentive, the pendant is waterproof, the in-home range is as good as it gets, it’s easy to install, and if that wasn’t enough they offer free monitoring for a second pendant purchase (for spouse or roommate).  We also like the fact that there are a number of positive Bay Alarm Medical Alert System Reviews available which gives us confidence in recommending them strongly.

If you’ve used the Bay Alarm Medical Alert System or know someone who has, please give us your opinion in the comment section below!

Would You Like a Recommendation?

Medical Alert Buyers Guide


This post may contain affiliate links. We only consider affiliate relationships on products that we recommend to friends and family.

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Why tablets for seniors are a great choice

iPad mini Why tablets for seniors are a great choice

As we continue to embrace the digital age, boomers and seniors are becoming increasingly exposed to the technological advances in communication, from laptops to smartphones and tablets. The iPhone 6 may be here, but for the older generations, tablets for seniors are a far more practical choice for a number of reasons.

Tablets are bigger

The obvious reason that tablets for seniors are preferable to smartphones, is their size. Today’s modern smartphone might be up to 5.5 inches in screen size, but with an average 9 inch tablet screen size, these friendly little devices are easier on the eye and promise the same capabilities as the modern day smartphone. They’re also far preferable for mobile communication, for example, a Skype conversation with family or friends can be seen far more clearly on a bigger screen.

Tablets are mobileKindle Fire 242x300 Why tablets for seniors are a great choice

While laptops might have been the gadget of choice for older adults some years ago, nobody can deny that they can be clunky.  A laptop might be an ideal choice if it is not frequently used, but for those of us who are still mobile enough to get around on a daily basis, we need a device that can travel with us. The tablet is the perfect go-between for mobile phones and laptops – it has an extensive battery life and can connect to Wi-Fi, which is ideal for emailing, browsing, and gaming in coffee shops, waiting areas and more.

Tablets can be adjusted for aging eyes and vision loss

756px Xperia Tablet S auf der Internationalen Funkausstellung 2012 in Berlin 2 PD 150x150 Why tablets for seniors are a great choice  Tablets that are back-lit are a huge boost for those with vision loss.  The ability to zoom and enlarge photos and text easily with two fingers is a clear winner over laptops for adults with vision impairments.   Tablets can also be easily adjusted for color contrast, text size, text-to-speech, magnification,  and negative colors.  In this way, tablets are keeping people connection to the outside world who may otherwise be isolated due to their vision.

Tablets for seniors can improve cognitive function 

There is no doubt that the gaming capabilities for today’s modern tablets know no bounds. In particular, however, when done right, tablet games can be especially helpful for us as we age. Modern-day brain training games like Sudoku and Crosswords have moved on from the pen and paper era to being based within our tablets. Moreover, studies have shown that challenging games like card and brain games (we like can help to improve our cognitive skills and information retention.  As we get older we might have trouble finding enough people to sit down and play a game of cards with, which is why sites like may be preferable may be preferable, giving users the chance to flex their strategic skills without the hassle of a pack of cards.

The power of modern day tablets as a way of keeping in touch and keeping the brain stimulated is continually changing and improving.  With improved mobile internet access and low cost to purchase, there’s no reason why every older adult shouldn’t have one.  What are your favorite online gaming sites?

Photo Credit: Wikimedia

Is The Apple Watch Ready For Prime Time?  Is The Apple Watch Ready For Prime Time?We had a great question from one of our community members that spurred some additional dialog about the the future of medical alert systems, and whether the Apple Watch might be in that future.

Susan asks resident tech expert TimOnTech: I was thinking along the same lines, Tim, but you expressed it much better than I….I don’t even know what an accelerormeter is. I used to joke if Tiffany made an alert pendant necklace, older women would love wearing it. The Apple watch looks cool.

I was thinking it probably also has a gps built in. (Do you know?) If so, help could be on the way very quickly even if the person couldn’t speak.

Thanks for the information and forward-thinking. possibilities.

Why is the Apple Watch receiving criticism in it’s first week of existence?

Unfortunately the Apple Watch needs some time to grow. Here are a list of why we don’t think its ready for seniors (or most consumers for that matter).

1. It’s not waterproof (no not even the sports edition). It is not even recommended to be worn in the shower.  This (to me) translates into “this Apple Watch isn’t even water resistant yet”.  This is a deal breaker for most of the sports nuts out there that expect to wear their watch wherever they go (including the pool).

2. It’s tethered to the iPhone. Hopefully it will have it’s own communication ability down the road so you don’t have to take your phone with you all the time. So now you have 2 devices that do largely the same thing.  One small… The other one SUPER SMALL.  As soon as we can take one or the other (or both) at our discretion, Apple will have a complete game changer.  For now it’s just a game changer. (Which isn’t so bad is it?)

3. Battery life of the Apple Watch is being called into question. They say you get a day’s worth of charge, but I suppose that the real numbers will become evident when they start shipping the Apple Watch (next year some time).  Again, let’s get to the point where we only need to plug these wearable gadgets in a couple times a week.  I know the brilliant engineers out there can do this!

4. The watch face is awfully small. Now my eyes are pretty good, but I don’t like reading on my iPhone 5S let alone a tiny watch… My iPad is about as small as I like to read on… So for the most rudimentary of tasks (like depressing an emergency call button) this might be just fine.  Replying to a text with a smiley face?  Probably fine too… but doing much more on the watch itself is going to be a struggle for most aging adults.

To read Susan’s original question and comment string click here on our article entitled; “The Next Best Medical Alert System”

apple watch 178x300 Is The Apple Watch Ready For Prime Time?

Apple Watch like Google Glass nice to have… Not need to have (yet)

So in summary, for now it’s probably a nice to have… Down the road (a couple years down the road) it may turn into a need to have. One nice wearable comparable is the Google Glass product. Even thought it’s not widely available, it’s been met with only mild enthusiasm. It’s a nice wearable comparable because it’s also an extension of one’s cell phone except plastered to ones face.

What’s your take on these exciting new wearable devices? Are they ready for prime-time? Are they following the typical evolutionary path to legendary gadget status?  Let us know your thoughts below!

The Next Best Medical Alert System

apple watch 178x300 The Next Best Medical Alert SystemIf you tuned into the Apple Live event yesterday you heard a lot about the new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, as well as Apple’s much anticipated wearable technology called the Apple Watch (nope it’s not called the iWatch).  The iPhones continue on their spectacular run of innovation including getting thinner, faster, stronger, and packed with new features like Apple Pay (think iWallet) and integrated health apps.  As you were watching the presentation I bet you weren’t thinking about the next best medical alert system! Well for good reason we were, and here are some thoughts on the future of this growing marketplace.


The Future of The Medical Alert System

As someone that follows the medical alert system industry closely, I can’t help but think that we might be seeing the future of medical alert systems before our very eyes.  The first thing I thought about when I saw the Apple Watch was that this is the first big innovation in medical alert systems we’ve seen in a long, long time.  How you ask?  Consider this: The Apple Watch already has build in sensors to tell you temperature, heart rate and a variety of other health related information.  There are already built in health apps that track daily activity which will be useful for family members to track how often their loved one’s are getting around.

iOS 8 Health App The Next Best Medical Alert System

This is the first big innovation in medical alert systems we’ve seen in a long, long time.

The Apple Watch has an internal gyroscope and an accelerometer which could lend itself to any myriad of inactivity or fall detections too.  Built in messaging could serve as useful reminders notifying the user when it’s time to take their medications, and how they should take them (with food, or not).  The possibilities are endless.

Right now the Apple Watch solution isn’t optimal  for a variety of reasons.  It’s new, it’s complex, it’s tethered to an iPhone, it may not be waterproof yet, etc.  The biggest reason this technology won’t be replacing the traditional medical alert system is that there aren’t many medical alert system replacement apps that are ready for prime time on the Apple Watch.  Here’s one industry observer that’s betting on a new simple medical alert application to be integrated into the Apple Watch for seniors.  In short order this could become the next best medical alert system on the market.  I think that in 5 years you’ll see some very useful apps come to market to address health needs that we haven’t yet dreamed of.  Should be a fun ride!

Would You Like a Medical Alert Recommendation?

Medical Alert Buyers Guide


Costco MediPendant Reviews

Costco MediPendant Review 150x150 Costco MediPendant ReviewsOur readers alerted us to the fact that the Costco MediPendant Medical Alert System is gaining in popularity, and asked us to look into this medical alert device for seniors.  The Costco MediPendant is a medical alert system that works best with a traditional telephone line.  This unit is water resistant, and although the promotional material maintains it can be worn in the shower or bath, we’d refrain from wearing it in the bath tub.

Costco MediPendant Battery Life

One interesting feature of the Costco MediPendant is the battery life.  The MediPendant comes with an internal battery that last 1-3 years on a single charge (so says the company representative I spoke with today).  The Costco package actually provides an additional battery, so theoretically you or your loved one should be set for 2-6 years on battery life.  We always error on the conservative side so count on 1 year of battery life… But hey, since they give you an extra – 2 years isn’t all bad!

Costco MediPendant Reviews

Costco MediPendant Reviews are actually quite good across the spectrum.  Here is a solid breakdown.

costco medipendant reviews Costco MediPendant Reviews From     As of 9/3/14 there are 28 reviews with a total of 4.5 out of 5 stars

Amazon MediPendant Reviews Costco MediPendant ReviewsFrom  As of 9/3/14 there are 6 reviews with a total of 4 out of 5 stars

The Senior List® likes the MediPendant Medical Alert System from Costco. The only challenges at this point are that the MediPendant is water resistant (vs waterproof) and the size of the device is a bit large. We understand that for the speakerphone type medical alert pendants, they’re all big and bulky. Keep your eye on this market. With nano technology and nano coatings becoming more prevalent in so many market spaces, we expect that medical devices like medical alert systems and hearing aids will continue to get smaller, less intrusive, and more intuitive.  If you like the speakerphone type medical alert systems, this looks like a good bargain.  We were also impressed with their customer service representatives.  We spoke to them extensively prior to writing this review.

Costco MediPendant Monthly Fee

The MediPendant from Costco comes with 6 months of free service.  That means 6 months worth of access to the call center operators (they answer the phone when you press the emergency button, and dispatch help).  This savings equates to around $162 dollars (assuming an average call center rate of $27 per month).  The representatives at MediPendant gave me their rate breakdown today, and told me there are NO long-term contracts that lock consumers into paying for the service when not in use.  There are however, rates that are based on service terms.  The MediPendant representative assured me that no matter what term a consumer chose, they could opt out at any time and receive a prorated rebate.  Here are their rates and terms:

  • Month to Month (must be requested) – $26.95 per month
  • 3 Month Service Plan – $24.95 per month
  • 6 Month Service Plan – $22.95 per month
  • 12 Month Service Plan – $19.95 per month

We recommend that you get the opt-out language (with rebate information) in writing before committing.  If you do, we see no reason not to go for the 12 month service plan.  It should be explicit in their Terms and Conditions documentation though.  If it’s not, request this information in writing.  If you’re new to the medical alert system industry, you’ll want to read our top 10 questions you should ask before buying a medical alert system.  It will save you some hassles down the road.

Would You Like a Medical Alert Recommendation?

Medical Alert Buyers Guide


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More Medical Alert System Questions

eCare+Voice More Medical Alert System QuestionsKathy G. asked some great medical alert system questions after reading our list of top questions you should ask before buying a medical alert system.  I thought they were worthy of their own post, so we’ve copied her medical alert system questions right here (along with the answers).  As always, if you have further clarifications based on your own experience or wish to continue the conversation, please engage in our comments section below.  A rich dialog about medical alert systems can end up benefiting a great many families in need.  Special thanks to Kathy G., and here you go!

1. Is there a detailed diagram of how the medical alert system is connected? I don’t have a diagram, but here is a nice tutorial on the typical components of a traditional (land-line based) medical alert system, and how they work: This is NOT an endorsement of this provider or their products, but they provide a nice example.

2. How does the signal travel from the button to the call center? For a land-line based medical alert system, the pendant uses a specific communication frequency to the base unit. The base unit then dials the medical alert provider’s call center. The call center usually attempts to communicate (via the base unit) with the user, and if there is no response they dispatch a predetermined responder (ambulance or family member). For a cellular based medical alert system the mobile unit contacts the call center directly, and they dispatch as described above. The base units for the cellular based medical alert devices usually act as charging stations.

3. What is a DSL Filter and where is it placed? (per wikipedia) “A DSL filter or microfilter is an analog low-pass filter installed between analog devices (such as telephones or analog modems) and a plain old telephone service (POTS) line, in order to prevent interference between such devices and a digital subscriber line (DSL) service operating on the same line.” These accessories are very common since nearly every cable/phone company has moved from analogue to digital services. I believe these accessories (if needed) are inserted into the line prior to entering your land-line plugin area. Here is a picture of a DSL filter.

4. What is the difference between power cord and signal cord? I’m not sure what signal cord is referring to, but it may simply refer to the medical alert system’s antennae. The power cord connects your base unit to the wall socket.

5. What does “range” refer to? The typical range of a traditional medical alert system is around 600-800 feet. This is a radius around the base unit, and depends on a number of factors including penetration through walls, signal interference (with other gadgets), etc. This range issue has led to the growing popularity of cellular based medical alert systems which have no range issues (other than the wireless signal from the carrier).

6. Does a doctor have to sign for a medical alert system? No.  A doctor does not have to sign anything. If your insurance provider covers this type of thing, you may need a doctor’s order, but this is a rare exception.

Would You Like a Medical Alert Recommendation?

Medical Alert Buyers Guide

What You Need to Know About Personal Sound Amplifiers

3911558890 0e07e371c4 m 150x150 What You Need to Know About Personal Sound AmplifiersCoping with hearing loss can be difficult. As we get older, losing our hearing sadly becomes inevitable. However, you don’t have to suffer in silence. There are a multitude of personal sound amplifiers available to you when it comes to your hearing. While you may not be able to fully restore your hearing, there are some great medical gadgets on the market that can help.

Personal Sound Amplifiers

Everyone is in the know when it comes to personal sound amplifiers. Personal sound amplifiers have proven to be an effective tool for those that are suffering from hearing loss. Selecting the appropriate amplifier that is suitable for you can be difficult.

Let’s take a look at hearing amplifiers in more depth:

As the name suggests, personal sound amplifiers can amplify the sound that you hear. For those that are suffering from minor hearing loss, this can prove to be a useful tool. What is more, it can assist people with their hearing problems. The sound is amplified where it was once not heard at all.

How Do Personal Sound Amplifiers Work?

The amplifier is fitted with what is akin to a microphone. This means that the sound is picked up through the microphone-like device and is fed through a speaker. They have a superb range. This means that they can pick up noises from a considerable distance. For those who are suffering at the helm of hearing loss, this can provide a fantastic opportunity to hear once again. What is more, you will also be able to hear background noise once again. For some, this provides an excellent comfort.


Hearing amplifiers are subtle. In fact, they are discreet and fit neatly into the ear. They can be removed and inserted with ease. This means that they can be cleaned and properly cared for with minimum fuss. This often makes them an attractive device for many who are ready to tackle their hearing loss.

Who Can Use a Personal Sound Amplifier?

In the midst of losing your hearing, you may want to try a wide range of medical devices in order to restore your hearing. However, if you are suffering from chronic hearing loss, this device will not be able to assist you with your quest for full hearing. If you are suffering from minor hearing loss, the hearing amplifier may be able to help you. Take a look at the personal hearing amplifiers buyers guide to see if there is a suitable device for you.

Mild Hearing Disorders

For those that are suffering from mild hearing disorders, this device can help you as well, but it can also prove to be a burden. Due to the powerful amplifying nature of the hearing device, all background noise can be picked up. This means that when you are outside, wind and traffic noise can be heard distinctly. For some this is positive news, for others this can prove to be troublesome, depending on the setting you are in. If you have a mild hearing disorder and you want to be able to be able to hear in a social environment, this could be the right device for you.

Image is via Travis Isaacs

Home Security And Safety Tips For Seniors

canstockphoto16013381 150x150 Home Security And Safety Tips For SeniorsSeniors tend to be an easy target for criminals.  Scams, fraud, and financial abuse are the first things that come to mind when I think of crimes against seniors.  Unfortunately, seniors and their homes tend to be targeted as well.  Even though they are the least victimized population, seniors have a higher rate of fear of being victimized, which can lead to isolation and a sense of loneliness.

Seniors may be easily targeted by criminals for a variety of reasons:

  • Seniors who live on their own may be isolated and not communicating daily with the outside world
  • Decline in cognitive and physical function make seniors vulnerable
  • Older seniors often aren’t in touch with innovations, such as home security systems, which makes the home easily accessible to criminals

Property crime is the second most common type of crime against seniors.  Property crimes includes burglary, larceny, auto theft, and petty theft.   So, in order to prevent, or at least lower the number of personal property crimes against seniors, we have come up with some home rules that seniors (and every homeowner!) should implement as a part of their everyday life.

Basic Home Security Protection

  • Lock your doors, no matter how safe the neighborhood is:   Regardless of the type of neighborhood you live in, all doors should be locked. This doesn’t mean you should be paranoid and live in fear, but locking the doors falls into that old saying ‘better safe than sorry’.
  • Make sure your door has a peephole:  Decorative door glass looks great, but it isn’t really safe.  Anyone can see you moving inside and the glass is easily broken.  If installing a peephole isn’t possible, and you have decorative glass, use privacy film on the glass and replace your standard glass with unbreakable “safety” glass.
  • Solid Doors: If you are just installing your door, choose solid wood or metal for both your front and back door (and any other door that leads into the house). The frame of the door is the most important element of any door so have the current one reinforced or have a metal one installed.
  • Don’t neglect windows:  Plexiglass or security film should be placed on the inside for better protection; they increase safety and make it more difficult for the glass to be broken.
  • Do you have gates?:  Make sure all gates are locked when you are alone at the house; for all those who should enter – they can call to say they’re coming. Don’t buzz in anyone you don’t know.
  • Keep phone close by:  Whenever someone comes to the door, have a wireless phone with you so you can call 911 in case of an emergency
  • Keys:  No matter for how long you are leaving the house for, never leave the key under the mat or in a flower pot, or in an old shoe (or any other place of that matter).  Give a copy to a member of the family and a trustworthy neighbor to check in on your apartment/house from time to time.
  • Home Security System:  The foundation of any home safety plan is a good Home Security System. They are great as prevention from thieves, but an amazing support for medical emergencies and fires, too. If you live alone and/or plan on spending a period of your retirement traveling, then a home security system is a must.
  • Sensor Lighting:  Whenever someone is at the door or in the yard, you’ll know when the lights go on. They are also great prevention from vandalism, too.  If you live in a condo or apartment building, have sensor lighting installed in hallways and shared entry points.
  • Travel: Have a trusted neighbor or family member pick up newspapers and packages while you are away.
  • Security Survey:  Many police departments will perform a home security survey when requested by the homeowner.

If you have experience with a home security system, we would love to hear about it in the comments section below!