AAA7 offers tips for seniors to prevent home theft

Published 12:00 am Sunday, August 1, 2010

Crime is unfortunately something that exists in our world today. Thefts surrounding homes, identities, prescriptions, and other personal belongings are reported daily around the country. In some cases, the theft is even caused by someone close to the individual, like a family member or friend.

The Area Agency on Aging District 7 (AAA7) stresses to seniors the importance of being aware of your surroundings and being alert in order to keep yourself and your home safe from theft or other related crimes. This also includes crimes to a senior’s well-being and trust such as frauds and con games.

Sadly, crimes involving prescription medications are also a reality. The AAA7 encourages seniors to not inform others, besides any caregivers or trusted family members or friends, and of course medical personnel, about the types of medications they are taking, especially any type of pain medication. The AAA7 offers the following tips for seniors regarding medications and basic home safety:

Email newsletter signup

Keep medications in a locked area or locked box.

Keep medications out of sight and in a safe place. For example, do not leave medications in a visible place such as a kitchen table or in front of a window.

Take advantage of or ask for education or information regarding medication safety.

Speak with your physician about whether the medications you are prescribed have any kind of “street value”. If so, perhaps the doctor can prescribe something similar that doesn’t have a similar street value. If this isn’t possible, seniors should be aware of what medications have a street value and not relay this information to others outside of a trusted caregiver, family member or friend. These medications should be kept in a secure location.

Install a chain lock on doors, dead bolts and change locks as necessary.

Learn more about door alarms or home security systems if necessary.

The National Crime Prevention Council also provides a number of wonderful tips in a brochure entitled “Safer Seniors” located on their website at

Some of those tips include:

When going out, try to go with family and friends and not alone if at all possible.

Do not carry credit cards you do not need or large amounts of cash.

Whether you are a passenger or driver, keep car doors locked. Be particularly alert in parking lots and garages. Park near an entrance.

Don’t hide keys in mailboxes and planters or under doormats. Instead, leave an extra set of keys with a neighbor or friend.

Ask for photo identification from service or delivery people before letting them in. If you are the least bit worried, call the company to verify.

Don’t fall for anything that sounds too good to be true – a free vacation; sweepstakes prizes; cures for cancer and arthritis; a low-risk, high-yield investment scheme, etc.

Don’t let anyone rush you into signing anything – an insurance policy, a sales agreement, a contract, etc. Read it carefully and have someone you trust check it over.

Do not give out personal information over the phone, through the mail, or over the internet unless you have initiated the contact or know with whom you are dealing.

Your local Area Agency on Aging District 7, Inc. provides services on a non-discriminatory basis in ten counties in southern Ohio including Adams, Brown, Gallia, Highland, Jackson, Lawrence, Pike, Ross, Scioto and Vinton. These services are available to help older adults and those with disabilities live safely and independently in their own homes through services paid for by Medicare, Medicaid, Veterans Administration, other federal and state resources, as well as private pay.

Those interested in learning more can call toll-free at 1-800-582-7277 (TTY 1-888-270-1550). Here, individuals can speak directly with a nurse or social worker who will assist them with information surrounding the programs and services that are available to best serve their needs. Information is also available on