Neighbourhood watch sign

Do you value your independence?
As we age many things change. But no matter what life throws our way, most of us are keen to continue living independently.

To achieve this, it’s vital we do whatever we can to feel confident doing our daily tasks at home – whether that’s making a cup of tea, preparing a hot lunch or taking a long soak in the bath.

If you find yourself living alone, you may start to have concerns about the safety and security of your home. That’s why future-proofing your home can be a great way to give you peace of mind in your later years.

How can you protect your home?
For most of us, home is our sanctuary. It’s a place which holds happy memories of time spent with family and friends, so it’s only natural we want to feel safe there.

If your home doesn’t currently have any security protection, now’s the time to add some. According to the UK police, “homes with no security measures in place are five times more likely to be burgled than those with simple security measures.”

Thanks to technology and innovation, there are plenty of things you can do to ease any worries you may have about protecting your home. There are even a few ‘low-tech’ options you can try, too.

  1. Assess your home

Ask a friend or family member to help you take a good look at your home, inside and out.  The UK police force recommends you:

  • Change the locks if you’ve recently moved home
  • Hide your keys and car keys in a safe place. Avoid leaving them near the front door – they could easily be stolen through the letterbox.
  • Lock doors and windows whenever you leave the house – even if you’re just in the garden
  • Install a burglar alarm with a visible unit outside your home
  • Install security lights outside
  • Ensure fences and walls surrounding your property are well maintained
  • Make sure valuable items aren’t visible through the ground floor windows
  • Store items such as passports, jewellery and cash in a safe
  1. Neighbourhood Watch

Is your home part of a Neighbourhood Watch scheme? These are considered “an excellent way of preventing crime and anti-social behaviour, reducing the fear of crime, and building stronger and safer communities”. If there isn’t a scheme already in place in your area, why not chat to your neighbours to discuss forming one?

In addition to setting up this worthwhile scheme, this could be an effective way to get to know your neighbours. Knowing there are friendly faces nearby to look out for you and your home can be a great comfort – and you can return the favour too. Who knows, you might even make some new friends.

  1. Install security features

Make improvements to the security of your front door with a night latch, five-lever mortice lock or door chain. For advice on which option would work best for you, contact your local Safer Neighbourhoods Team.

You could also look at installing a burglar alarm or security system. This might sound like an expensive or complicated job. But don’t worry – nowadays, these systems are both affordable and user-friendly. If you’re not sure which type of security features would suit you and your home, here are a few different security products currently available on the market.

For a complete security solution, consider installing an integrated ‘smart home’ system, like Samsung SmartThings, Hive or Nest. As well as security cameras and alarms, these systems offer users the option to add smart thermostats, plug sockets, locks, smoke alarms, panic buttons and lights.

Another option to consider is a doorbell camera. These devices record exactly what’s going on outside your front door, so you’ll have clear video evidence should your home security ever be compromised. Plus, you’ll be able to check who is at the door before you open it.

Being able to control your home safety and security systems from your smart phone can be a real lifeline when you’re living independently. If you want to take your smart home to the next level, you could even install a voice-activated system like Amazon Alexa.

Ready to make your home safe and secure?
Living independently can be challenging. And if you’re living with limited mobility, it can sometimes feel as though every day is a struggle. But it doesn’t have to be that way. There are many options available to make your life easier, no matter what limitations you might be faced with.

Our advice? Start making some changes today, to help you feel more confident about the future.