There are many people who would prefer living with senior relatives rather than having them placed in a nursing home. However, there are a number of challenges that they usually face, and which need to be addressed. One of the most important of these is how to keep them safe, particularly when it comes to locking mechanisms.
Finding the perfect balance between keeping them safe while at home without being cruel can be very difficult, particularly if you live with an individual with a condition such as Alzheimer’s. In this case, they are likely to keep forgetting things such as where they placed their keys, which means that you might need to keep breaking the lock often on account of this. There are a few tips you can use to mitigate such risks and these include:
Always have a copy of the key nearby
If you are living with a senior individual who is likely to lose their keys, always make sure that there is a spare key nearby so that they can get it. For instance, you could give one of the keys to a neighbor you can trust, so that in case the individual loses the key you can simply ask the neighbor to let them in. This is usually a good idea, but has to be executed properly. For instance, you need to be very confident about the neighbor you choose for this. Remember, the fact that you would be giving them your keys means that they would have access to your home if they wanted to. You should choose someone who you can trust, and who you have known for a long time for this role.
In addition to that, it’s also wise to ensure that the duplication is done correctly. There are times when duplicating a key goes wrong, so that the extra key becomes very difficult to use. This is why some people spend a lot of time jiggling the key to get a door open. Working with an experienced locksmith will ensure accurate duplication, so that the resultant key can easily be used even by a senior citizen.
Using automatic locks
Another alternative to solving this problem is through the use of an automatic lock system, such as that which depends on a fingerprint or retinal scan to open the door. One of the benefits of using this in a home that has a senior citizen is the fact that they will not need to carry any keys around. This in turn means that the risk of loss of the keys will be reduced.
One of the challenges you are likely to face when you choose to do this is teaching them how to use the locks. This is particularly so if you choose a complicated lock, such as one that will need the biometric scan and the entry of a password in order to open the door. To avoid this problem, you should simply keep it simple. Buy a biometric lock that offers high levels of security, but which is very easy to use as well.
Consider investing in other adjuncts
In addition to getting high quality locks in such a home, you should also consider investing in other security equipment. These include cameras and even fall sensors. This makes it easier to keep an eye on the home when you are away. For instance, if an intruder manages to break into the home while the senior citizen is there, it will be easy for you to get notified of this, so that you can then inform the authorities on time.
You could also get doors that automatically close when an individual opens them. This reduces the risk of having your house burgled if the individual leaves the home and forgets to lock the door. However, since the risk of them locking themselves out by accident is high, you will need to put other measures in place to avoid this. For instance you can combine such doors with biometric locks as described above.
Come up with a system to ensure that the individual always has a key on their person
Another alternative to avoiding security problems such as the individual locking themselves out of the home is by devising a method to ensure that they always have a key on them. For instance, you can design a pendant that will have a key on the end of it. You can make it a policy that this pendant should never be removed. This way, even if the elderly individual loses items such as a purse, they will still be able to gain access to the home. This is a cheap strategy since it also reduces how much you will spend on locksmith services due to key loss.
In summary, if you are going to live with a senior citizen, it would be wise to be keen on issues to do with security in the home. If you need help in deciding which security products to add for your home, talk to us and let us advise you!