Alarm systems for your elderly relatives

While being elderly can make you less likely to be the victim of some sorts of crime – particularly violent crime that often takes place in city centres – the worrisome reality is that older adults tend to be targets for home burglaries.

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Distraction burglaries by what are known as ‘bogus callers’ are a growing source of concern, according to Help The Aged. These are burglaries where someone gains entry to a property under false pretenses. A common ruse is to pretend to be working on water pipes in the street. The burglar will ask a vulnerable elderly person to tap on the radiator to ‘check the pipes’ while he ransacks the house.

Security options to deter criminals

Surveys by the Home Office and Help The Aged estimate that around 350,000 distraction burglaries take place each year, on top of another 45,000 victims of burglaries by breaking and entering. The charity’s HandyVan scheme says, “the risk of being burgled increases dramatically when there are no home security measures in use”. What sort of security measures might deter criminals?

Security cameras

Since bogus callers appear to be ordinary workers, like plumbers or electricians, it can sometimes be difficult to identify them for what they are. Whilst educating the elderly about these types of burglaries is the first step towards their continued safety, security cameras can also help guard them against more traditional criminal acts.


When triggered, motion-sensing cameras will send a high definition image directly to Verisure’s Alarm Receiving Centre, which operates 24 hours a day. If the security specialists notice anything suspicious, such as an individual wearing a mask, or lack of response from the home owner, they will send out a guard response team.

Perimeter detector

Anyone trying to force entry to an elderly person’s home can also be deterred by a perimeter detector. The sensor’s combined microwave and infrared technology make it able to distinguish humans from animals and trigger an alarm, which switches on security lights and alerts the Alarm Receiving Centre.

SOS Panic alarm

If someone does gain access to a property while an elderly person is inside, the best thing to do is to push the SOS panic button. This is either a button installed in a discreet location, on your personal key chain, or on the Verisure 3G Control Panel, which can be kept anywhere in the house, within easy reach.

panic button

The signal connects straight to the Verisure Alarm Receiving Centre, which will receive images from security cameras and activate silent listening so that the intruders are unaware they are being monitored.

Making equipment easier for the elderly to use

Visual impairment is a common effect of old age, which makes it essential to have user-friendly devices on your security system. The 3G Control Panel has straightforward buttons which can be located by touch, including the SOS alarm, and has a microphone and mobile internet connection.

The remote control alarm is even easier to use. It’s a single, ergonomically designed remote control with only one button. When pressed, it alerts Verisure’s Alarm Receiving Centre, who can contact emergency services for you.

Burglar alarms are also easier to set and disarm with a smart key reader. Instead of trying to remember codes and fiddling with buttons, the smart key reader just needs to be held near the control panel to disable the alarm system when you enter your house.

How adult children can help make their elderly parents secure

While plenty of older people are tech savvy, many have struggled to use electronic devices with confidence. Verisure’s smart system allows adult children to help their parents by using an app which can monitor and control all security devices. Even children who are far away from their parents can look at live photo or video footage to make sure nothing untoward is happening.

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Since trained specialists at the Alarm Receiving Centre also monitor your system, there is no risk that an automated alert will send a false alarm the police – a major benefit since the police may not respond if officers receive several false alarms from a property.

Other ways to stay safe

A good security system is the first step to safety, but there are other things that people can do to avoid becoming victims of crime. Fitting a door chain makes answering the door safer, and adopting a policy of not answering the door to cold callers is also a way to improve security. It’s also good practice not to keep too much cash at home and make sure that sensitive information, such as PIN numbers, are not written down or kept anywhere close to credit cards.

For advice on how to make your home more secure, call today to book a free Home Security Review.