Are you worried about your elderly relatives’ security?

Now this isn’t some kind of scaremongering or anything like that, but just how safe are your elderly relatives? Safety comes in many forms and it’s important that they’re all addressed in order for them to feel safe in their own homes.

Here are some things to think about…

Does their home need work doing to it?
According to Age UK, poor housing costs the NHS £600m every year, so it’s imperative that your elderly relative’s house is up to standard. Is there anywhere that could cause a nasty trip or fall? Do the windows need replacing to prevent draughts? If the house needs work doing to it then it could be potentially problematic for a number of reasons, so it’s best to get the issues sorted before they become a real problem.

Is their home suitable at all?
In an extension of the previous point, is their home actually suitable at all? If not, then it could prove to be unsafe. For example, if they have trouble walking but life in a three story town house, then getting up and down stairs could be a real issue. Likewise, if they are in a wheelchair but struggle to manoeuvre around their house, then it could lead to potential accidents. See if there’s anything you can do to alter the house, such as a stair lift, or they might have to consider moving to something more suitable.

What’s the area like?
It’s a fact that some areas have a higher risk of crime than others, and this is something that can be a real issue for the elderly. Not only is potentially frightening for them, but they are not really in any position to stand up to any would-be criminal if face to face with them. Speak with local police officers or PCSOs to find out if they can help or find out if there’s a Neighbourhood Watch Scheme at all that could help.

Cold callers
This is an issue that has long been a hot topic when it comes to the elderly. Cold callers selling things come to the door ask to come in and elderly people are much more likely to invite them in. Most of the time this won’t be a security issue but you can’t be sure. Again, a Neighbourhood Watch system might be able to help here or a sign in the window/door telling them they don’t want cold callers might just be enough to deter them.

What if you’re still worried?

If you’re really worried about your elderly relative’s safety and security, then a retirement/care home might be an option for them. They are incredibly secure buildings staffed 24/7 so the risk of crime is pretty miniscule. Places such as Extra Care are entire retirement villages so there are always a lot of people around, making them much safer.

If your biggest retirement worry is cash flow, you are not alone. However, suddenly being on a reduced income does not mean you have no cash available to access. In fact, you can use a reverse mortgage to obtain the funds necessary to make your retirement more financially comfortable. Unlike a traditional home loan, a reverse mortgage lets you access the funds you need and use them for long periods without paying them back. A reverse mortgage calculator tool determines the equity available to borrow, which will be a percentage of the total value of your home. The reverse loan is also a popular retiree option because you have less likelihood of losing your home, since there are no scheduled payments you could potentially default on.

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