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  • Karen McPhail / ​Lauren Thomas

Safety Considerations for Older Adults: Finding the Right Home Security System

Finding the Right Home Security System Physical security and peace-of-mind are important both for older people and for their caregivers and loved ones. A home security system can be an essential part of helping individuals continue to live their lives at home independently and maintain the lifestyle that is right for them. Home security is so much more than just a list of what companies can offer. Trust is a key feature when it comes to any home security company, as is stellar customer service. The team at recently released a guide to finding the right home security system, outlining what to look for when it comes time to select one. They hand-tested a number of systems after ordering through the phone, installing the equipment, and using them daily for several months. After this process was completed, they determined what is most important in your own search: Critical Features There are four key features that a home security system should address, so keep an eye out with any company you’re looking at: Intrusion via door and window may include sensors that detect glass breakage as well Environmental hazards like carbon monoxide, fires, and flood sensors. These are very commonly included in security packages, but you may be surprised that they aren’t always standard. Surveillance, both indoor and outdoor with doorbell cameras Life Safety including panic buttons and life alert systems. Contacting the Company Their team contacted each company in their analysis to experience them from start to finish. Each tester was offered a discount on the phone without asking for one, so keep in mind that the sales reps have lots of control over the final price, so it can be worthwhile to negotiate. Surprisingly, the team’s experience with sales reps on the phone was very positive across the board, so we felt confident that others would feel comfortable as well. Installation Of the companies tested, only required professional installation, while the others opted for DIY. DIY systems are created to be easy to install (~15 minutes), though this process assumes familiarity with the components that are sent and a certain level of technological fluency. DIY installation is by far the less expensive way to go, however, professional installation may be a better option for those who may need assistance with the technology of the system. This also allows experts to evaluate the security needs of the home and individual. During both installation appointments that the team experienced, technicians determined that some of the equipment was unnecessary, so a refund was issued for what wasn’t used. Installation does typically cost a fee, but with an overall positive experience, it may be the best option for older adults. Other Considerations DIY Monitoring: the companies looked at in this review were professional monitoring. Keep in mind that there are many DIY options out there as well, but these options tend to be less ideal for residents for whom mobility may be an issue since users need to be able to access a phone themselves. Permitting: Some cities, like Fort Worth in Texas, require a permit to respond to security alarms. For a legitimate (not false) alarm, this could be a fatal caveat to the system, so be sure to check with the local police department to see if one is needed. Policies about permitting are based on location. Overall, it’s important to consider the needs of yourself or your loved one when finding a security system that works for them. One of the most important takeaways is that these companies are very service-oriented. If you have questions or concerns about the unique needs of an older adult, this is something that can be discussed in-depth via the phone. Their main goal is to meet the needs of their customers. To take a look at the full article and see which companies found to be the best, you can take a look here:

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