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Elder Care Tips: Door-Answering Safety

Elder Care in Sudbury, MA

Elderly man in wheelchair opening doorIndependence is an important concept within your elder care journey with your aging loved ones. No matter what the challenges your seniors are facing, taking steps to encourage them to maintain as much independence as possible while also keeping them safe, secure, and healthy is one of the most important things that you can do to protect their mental and emotional health throughout their later years. For many seniors this means spending stretches of time in the home without you or a non-medical in-home caregiver. Taking the time to encourage safe practices during these times ensures that they stay as secure and gives you peace of mind that you can leave them on their own and not worry that they are in danger.

One situation your loved ones may encounter while your parents are on their own is someone coming to the door. When you or their caregiver is in the home, you can screen visitors and answer the door. If your senior parents are in the home alone, however, they will need to be able to respond to the situation effectively and safely. It is important to remind seniors that times have changed and it is not always safe to just open the door when someone knocks. It is a common ploy for people who wish to rob seniors to watch a home and pick up on a pattern of when those seniors are alone, and then knock on the door pretending to be a salesperson, neighbor, or someone in need of help in order to gain access to the home. Your parents could also respond to a completely innocent salesperson knocking and end up making unwise financial decisions. By reviewing door-answering safety with them, you can feel more confident that they are prepared for such an incident.

Share these tips with your parents to make answering the door safer and less intimidating for your seniors:

  • Use a camera. Install a camera at the front of the house that clearly shows who is standing at the door. Teach your parents how to use the computer to access the feed from the camera so that they can check who is at the door without getting near it.
  • Lock the storm door. If your parents have a storm door in front of their front door, make sure they keep it locked. This allows them to look out through the storm door to see who is there, and even talk with the person briefly if necessary, without allowing direct access. Remind them that this will prevent you or their caregiver from getting inside without their help.
  • Do not talk to strangers. This is probably one of the first lessons your parents taught you and now it is time for you to remind them. Let them know that it is fine for them not to open the door if they do not know who is there, and to shut the door if they open it and do not recognize the person. Tell them not to engage with salespeople or solicitors, and to never allow someone into the home when they are alone.
  • Have a visitor list. It is not uncommon for people wanting to gain access to a house with seniors in it to pose as a nurse, caregiver, or other professional that those seniors would automatically trust. Each day give your parents a complete list of who is coming by the house that day, and if something changes, make sure to call them to let them know who will or will not be coming. Instruct them to ask for identification from every person who comes who they do not recognize.

If you or an aging loved one are considering non-medical in-home care in Metrowest Boston, MA, call Griswold Home Care and speak to one of our caring staff members today. Call (781) 559-0073