Karen McPhail, RN, MSN
Safe and Sound - Finding a Home Security System for Older Adults
Physical security and peace-of-mind are important both for older adults and for their caregivers. During Covid-19 many of us are out of necessity at home more and thinking about feeling safe in our personal space. A home security system can provide peace of mind and be an essential part of helping individuals to age in place and maintain the lifestyle support that is right for them. Although necessary to address, this can be a very confusing process filled with questions and concerns. What does one really need? What is really essential and what is enough? One size clearly does not fit all, as home security is so much more than just a list of what companies can offer. Trust is an essential feature when it comes to any home security company, as is ease of use, reliability, exceptional responsiveness, and customer service.
Reviews.com recently released their 2021 review of security systems, outlining pros and cons and what to look for when it comes time to selecting one: https://www.reviews.org/home-security/best-home-security-systems/
PC Mag also has done a 2021 review which can be helpful with guidelines and pricing aspects: https://www.pcmag.com/picks/the-best-smart-home-security-systems
Phenomsecurity also has a very helpful guide to safe guarding your home and reviews some critical considerations for selecting systems:
Here are also some critical aspects to consider along the way in your search:
There are some key features to consider with a home security system, so keep an eye out for these with any company you are considering to ensure all your needs are met and you have a system that can change and be adjusted easily if needed:
Intrusion via door and window including sensors that detect glass breakage.
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 and sometimes people think they have these in place and do not.
Surveillance, both indoor and outdoor via a variety mechanisms.
Considerations for pet doors, sliding doors, etc
Life Safety including panic buttons and life alert systems for those living alone and posing an abatement or fall risk.
Specific safety features for those with visual or hearing impairment.
Along the way consider additional interventions to protect your home through motion sensors and additional exterior lighting, avoiding hidden keys, front door cameras, windowless doors to the exterior, deadbolts, additional window locks, lock reinforcers and security bars for sliding doors, garage door modifications, and more!
Overall, it’s important to consider the needs of yourself and your loved one when finding a security system and in forming an effective overall security plan. If you have questions or concerns about the unique needs of an older adult, this is something that can be discussed in-depth via tele health or by phone. We can provide specific, individualized guidance for those with cognitive impairment, fall risk, and more. We are happy assist in forming a security and emergency plan to fit your needs. Reach out today via our main page contacts area.