Senior Safety

In Your Community

Personal safety and crime prevention tips apply to all regardless of age. However there are some things seniors can do to further reduce their likelihood of being victimized.

  • Do not burden yourself with packages or a bulky purse.
  • Go shopping in pairs or groups.
  • If you suspect you are being followed, cross the street, go to the nearest home, service station, or business and call police.
  • Never display large sums of money in public.
  • Walk in the center of the sidewalk, away from alleys and doorways
  • Walk only in well-lit areas.

In Your Home

  • Do not leave tell tale signs that your are away.
  • Don't keep large amounts of cash at home.
  • Get to know your neighbors.
  • Install good locks and always use them.
  • Install a wide-angle door viewer which permits you to see callers before you open the door.
  • Keep entrances and garages well lit at night.
  • Mark valuables for identification. Your community policing station can lend you an engraver.
  • Never leave a stranger unattended in your home.
  • Never open the door to strangers without credentials.

Safety In Your Vehicle

  • Be cautious of any stranger approaching your vehicle. If you feel you are in danger, press the horn repeatedly in short blasts to attract attention.
  • Do not pick up hitchhikers.
  • Have keys in hand so you do not have to linger before entering your car.
  • If you are driving at night, use well-lit streets and parking lots that are open for easy observation.
  • Plan and know your route before you leave, whether it is for a short drive in the city or a long trip in the country.
  • Remember to keep your vehicle locked at all times, whether moving or parked.
  • View the interior of your car before getting in to make sure no one is hiding inside even if the doors are locked.

What if... Your Vehicle Breaks down in an Isolated Area

  • Pull your vehicle off the road so you will be out of the traffic.
  • Raise the hood of your vehicle.
  • Should a passing motorist stop, stay in your car and ask him/her to send help back to you.
  • Stay in the car with all doors locked and windows rolled up.
  • Turn on the emergency four way flasher.
  • Wait for help to come to you - a patrolling police car or another motorist.


  • Husbands have a responsibility to learn self-care-shopping, meal preparation and house cleaning.
  • It is unwise to bequeath a house or other possessions to a relative on the strength of a relative's promise to “look after you.”
  • Maintain independence and self-sufficiency for as long as possible.
  • Participate in social activities as much as possible with friends as well as family members.
  • Prepare and revise your will before beginning your retirement years and with the death of a spouse or family member who is named in your will. - preferably with the help of a lawyer.
  • Seniors can be vulnerable to abuse if they have little knowledge or understanding of their financial situation. It is important to assume some responsibility for knowing how to manage finances.
  1. Abuse
  2. Banks
  3. Building
  4. Charity
  5. Fraud

Most of Canada's elderly enjoy strong healthy ties with their families, friends and care givers. But a significant number of older adults are not happy or safe, and are being victimized in their homes by family members, informal care givers, friends and landlords.

Elder Abuse falls into three categories.

  • Material Property Abuse - Illegal or unethical exploitation of funds, assets or property belonging to an older person, such as coercing them to sign over power of attorney or stealing from an older person in care facilities.
  • Physical Abuse - Inflicting pain or discomfort by physical assault, rough handling, restraint, coercion, sexual molestation, and under or over medication.
  • Psychological Abuse - Inflicting anguish by insulting, humiliating, intimidating, infantilizing, ignoring, frightening, isolating, removing decision making powers, withholding love and denying access to grandchildren.

Neglect is also considered abuse. Neglect can vary from active neglect such as denial of necessities such as food and health care to passive neglect, such as failure to give proper care because of ignorance and infirmity.