>> May 14, 2013
Even if your parents can take care of themselves, chances are they still need (and appreciate) your help. From Internet security to heirloom preservation, they're aging and feeling so old. While respecting their independence, help your parents protect their identity, manage their home and cherish their golden years.
Prepare and Preserve
Over the years, parents tend to collect special keepsakes such as photographs, handwritten letters, heirloom jewelry, etc. Help them preserve family treasures in a fireproof container or a safety deposit box. For insurance (and memory!) purposes, assist your parents in taking photographs of their belongings. Important files or pictures should be backed up on portable hard drives and kept in multiple locations, in case of fire or burglary.
Install a Security System
Not only do alarm systems provide protection and peace of mind, but they also act as deterrents to potential thieves. Burglars are likely to find another target if they see a sign or sticker from an alarm company in a yard or on a window. Knowing or suspecting a home is protected by a security system is often enough to turn trouble away, LifeShield.com reported.
Appear to be Secure
Your parent's home shouldn't only be secure, but appear to be secure. Feeble-looking locks on rickety-looking doors will attract burglars, not repel them. Find creative ways to make your parents home look less of a target. Even if your parents don't own a pet or participate in a neighborhood watch, consider posting a "beware of dog" sign or "neighborhood watch" warning in the yard. Don't give burglars a clear shot at peeking into windows or hiding behind bushes.
Internet, Phone & Mail Safety
Even tech-savvy parents need safety reminders when it comes to Internet, phone and mail safety. Whenever you learn about a popular scam or phishing hoax, make sure your parents are aware of the trick. Older generations are often targets of these crimes and, unfortunately, end up giving away personal information or money they didn't intend to. Also remind your parents not to post travel plans on social networking sites like Facebook. It just makes their empty home a target to potential theft.
Tips for Traveling
If your parents are the traveling types, make sure they know they can't leave their home without taking special precautions first! If they plan to be out of town for several days, someone should be gathering their mail and keeping an eye on the household for them. Boxes and newspapers sitting on the porch for several days are key indicators to burglars that homeowners are far away. For longer trips:
- Have your parents request a hold on mail, find someone to maintain their landscaping
- Maybe even hire a house sitter.
Keep Valuables Out of Sight
Burglars will rarely break into a house before trolling it out to make sure it's worth the risk. Just as a precaution, encourage parents to keep any cash or high-value belongings out of sight. If they have valuable electronic items in clear view of their windows, install privacy screens so they can look out without anyone seeing in.
Author : Belinda Brighton is a dedicated mom, writer and art therapist, Belinda believes sharing her love of family, art and the environment is what makes her a better writer and a great mom to her two sons, Michael and Patrick.