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Keeping our elderly relatives safe

(24 Posts)
BurgundyGran Fri 06-Jul-12 15:03:41

Having read gracesgran's ordeal with the company wanting to call on her mum I thought I would share what we did with my mum.

When mum was home alone any random caller was met with the door chain on and my mum would say hang on I'll get my son he deals with that sort of thing. Generally my brother was at work but more often than not just her saying it was enough to send them on their way. She did the same with random telephone callers.

She always kept the door chain on and even when we visited it was there but I was happy about that. I said just because you expect us at 2pm don't take it off because you don't know if someone will call before we get there, luckily she did that. Better to be safe than sorry.

When my MIL goes out she has a handbag that has a long strap that goes over her head and body and keeps the flap closest to her body at the front. That way no one can grab at her bag as they pass or dip into her bag. MIL has macular degeneration so obviously her sight is not good, therefore anything to keep her safe is good.

Not in my family, but I knew of a lady who kept a policeman's helmet and truncheon in the hallway on view to any random caller. It worked, people not genuine made their excuses to go wink I believe they were fancy dress items she picked up but were genuine enough if no one got too close. Of course you don't have to go that far.

But it isn't just our elderly relatives who are targets for opportunist thieves or callers so we must protect ourselves too.

FlicketyB Fri 06-Jul-12 15:37:54

My Grandmother, who was widowed in WW1, always had a man's hat, coat and umbrella hanging prominently on the coat stand by the front door so that any chance caller would assume that there was a man in the household.

ninathenana Sat 07-Jul-12 13:50:34

good ideas smile

Dosen't work if the elderly person has also got some form of dememtia though. My mum would still let them in !

Mishap Sat 07-Jul-12 18:21:42

Gosh - this is depressing. I can't bear to think that people have to take such steps against unscrupulous people. How can you feel comfortable on your own home under these conditions?

jeni Sat 07-Jul-12 18:25:59

I have a good (but expensive) burglar alarm/panic button. I haveit on string round my neck. It's really for when I fall, but if I press it the police come round.

FlicketyB Sat 07-Jul-12 19:56:25

After four break ins between 1980 and 1997 knowing the house is protected by an alarm system is immensely re-assuring.

Ella46 Sat 07-Jul-12 21:19:29

I have a sign on my front door saying "Beware.. Grumpy Old Woman!"

It works!

Gmajen Sun 08-Jul-12 09:48:29

Oh thank youElla46 for bringing a bit of light relief. Please, everyone, stop worrying so much. One of the worst things about getting older is the increasing level of suspicion that others are out to get us.

Gmajen Sun 08-Jul-12 09:54:16

(I posted before I had finished) - we are no different from other age groups - the vulnerable of any age will always need protection but increased age does not automatically mean increased vulnerability.The world is full of good people, lets all enjoy being a part of it.

whenim64 Sun 08-Jul-12 09:56:41

I have a dog! She would show burglars round if they got in but her deep baying rumble of a bark would put anyone off approaching my house grin

Ella46 Sun 08-Jul-12 11:11:55

Gmajen The other day a young man rang my doorbell. He was holding a delivery of clothes from Next for the girl next door. He was wearing black sunglasses and had a miserable expression. When I opened the door he said "Are you the grumpy old woman?", I said "I certainly am!". Then we both fell about laughing grin

whenim64 Sun 08-Jul-12 11:21:13

Ella grin

Maniac Sun 08-Jul-12 20:00:13

I agree Gmagen It is not only the elderly who need to protect themselves At the end of a course training for working from home alone we were advised to have a man's hat/coat visible in hall,and maybe also have recording of barking dog or male conversation audible from another room.It sounds a bit drastic but worth thinking about.

Anagram Sun 08-Jul-12 20:13:04

Remember those pop-up passenger seat 'companions' for lone women drivers? One was called 'Justin Case' - an inflated head and torso of a male, supposed to deter car thieves, would-be rapists and the like...
You never see them advertised now, wonder why?

JessM Sun 08-Jul-12 20:27:57

Only once I could have done with one of those blow up blokes. On a long drive on the A470 from S to N Wales (ah those were the business-travel-days) a chap overtook and signalled that he was pulling into a lay-by. Did the same manoeuvre a few times before I twigged! Now why would I want to do such a thing? I pulled into a petrol station instead and he got the hint. Should have had a pop up poppa, not a frock hanging up, evidently. There are some weird people about aren't there.

crimson Sun 08-Jul-12 21:00:28

I suppose that central locking systems make driving a lot safer for lone women? Always thought that wearing a trilby hat was a good idea when driving alon, but everyone wears trilby hats now.

Anagram Sun 08-Jul-12 21:01:51

I don't! confused

Maniac Mon 09-Jul-12 17:10:32

Just bought a straw trilby from local dress shop for my hols/cruise .
I thought it was a bit more dashing than usual sunhats.

I wonder if jeni will approve?

Annobel Mon 09-Jul-12 17:37:33

You're kidding, Maniac, she'll probably borrow it!

jeni Mon 09-Jul-12 17:56:42

I always take a sun hat but never wear it! I have very thick hair and skull, so never find the needsmile

jeni Mon 09-Jul-12 17:57:58

Any way I think maniac takes a different hat size!

nanasam Wed 18-Jul-12 18:05:15

My old aunt was burgled 11 times. She never learned the lesson that when there's a knock on the door it might not always be a friend. We only found out after she was taken into care. It beggars belief that she would be taken in so many times, bless her.

Greatnan Thu 19-Jul-12 06:42:12

I suppose I am an elderly relative! However, there are advantages to living in a second floor flat in an isolated place. The only people who have ever knocked at my door in two years were the water meter reader and the census taker. They were both accompanied by the caretaker.

royguts Tue 25-Sep-12 15:39:42 has some very interesting articles on this topic