Wednesday 13th September Café saw Garda George Doherty, Crime Prevention Officer, Naas talk about safety for older people, especially coming into the Winter months. Some key points were:

Lock up and Light up

  • Use timer switches for lights and put on your alarm when you are going out.
  • Don’t keep large amounts of cash in the house.
  • Most thefts are opportunistic, make sure you lock doors and windows at night and put your alarm on when going to bed.
  • Make sure the locks you have on your doors and windows have good quality locks. Doors should have mortice locks.
  • Exterior lighting should come on automatically.
  • Most thefts occur at three entry points: rear window, front door, rear door.
  • Don’t have tall plants hiding your front door from the road.
  • Don’t leave ladders in easy reach.
  • Don’t leave valuable items where they can be easily seen.
  • In summertime try not to leave windows open in rooms that are unattended.
  • Don’t leave keys outside the house, under flower pots etc

 

Mark your Property

  • Most thieves are looking for high value, easily carried items such as cash, jewellery, mobile phones.
  • Photograph all valuables and keep the photographs separate from the items.
  • You can mark your property with an infra-red pen.
  • Have a property register with:
  • Description of the item
  • Cost of the item
  • Date it was purchased
  • Any markings you have put on it

 

Safety

  • Always keep the chain on the door.
  • Don’t open the door without finding out who is there.
  • Don’t engage with people selling things- if you want to buy what they are selling put a card through the letterbox and let them give you their details and you can call them at a later date.
  • If something seems too good to be true it usually is!!
  • Get a personal alarm- you can get these from Muintir Na Tire, or contact your Public Health Nurse.
  • Be careful of bogus callers and callers who seem innocent but are trying to distract you.
  • Don’t give personal information or any passwords over the phone or at the door, No matter who they say they are!

 

When going out:

People with dementia may get lost when they go out:

  • The Gardai have a programme that allows family members to give the Gardai contact numbers and a description of the person to ensure that if a person gets lost they can begin an immediate search.
  • People with dementia should carry ID or an identity bracelet when going out.
  • If someone is likely to leave the house, particularly at night always set the house alarm.