Community Safety Tips
- Auto Crime
- Business Security
- Business Security Prevention Measures
- Crime Prevention Education
- Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design
- How to Report a Missing Person
- Identifying and Reporting a suspected drug house or Grow Operation
- Missing Persons
- Parent Safety Tips
- SAFE Plan (School Action for Emergencies)
- Street Proofing Your Kids
Seniors are an integral part of our communities and cities. Their safety is important to us and it is all of our responsibility to provide for them in their later years. The Ridge Meadows RCMP strives to provide tips for seniors to ensure that they stay safe and that they don't fall victim to abuse or become involved in a fraud or scam.
People think of physical violence when they hear the term elder abuse but abuse has many forms. Elder abuse is any action or inaction which causes harm, exploits or threatens to cause harm to an elderly person.
Who Are Abusers?
Abusers can really be anyone including family members, neighbours, home care givers, trades or service people or even a stranger.
Types Of Adult Abuse
- Physical Abuse
- Neglect (including Self-Neglect) or Abandonment
- Financial Abuse and Exploitation
- Psychological Abuse, Verbal or Emotional Abuse
Some Signs of Possible Abuse
Victims of adult abuse may show signs of:
- Vulnerable confusion Changes in behaviour
- Changes in habits
- Changes in health/well-being
Why Seniors Don't Seek Help
Seniors or any victims of abuse often don't seek help because they feel they are somehow at fault for what has happened to them. This is definitely NOT the case. There can be a number of reasons why victims of abuse don't seek help.
Victims may not be sure that they are experiencing abuse or they may not know how to communicate they are being abused. This could be due to a disability, language barrier or because they simply fear reprisal from caregivers. Seniors should be encouraged and supported if they want to speak up about being abused.
Senior citizens who are victims of abuse do have numerous means by which to seek help or assistance. If you feel that you are in immediate danger you should always dial 911. If it is not an emergency but you wish to reach the police, please dial your local police agencies non-emergency number. The Ridge Meadows RCMP non-emergency number is 604-463-6251.
You should also talk to someone that you feel comfortable with regarding the abuse. Make sure that it is someone that you trust. In some cases, victims of abuse do approach the person that is abusing them. If you feel comfortable doing this, then you should do so.
The Ridge Meadows RCMP Victim Services program also offers assistance to victims and their families. Victim Services caseworkers are available 24 hours a day 7 days a week to answer any questions and provide counseling services as required.
The most important thing to remember is that you are not alone and you can seek the help advice of both friends and family.
Seniors who fall victim to Alzheimer's can often be confused or unable to perform the simplest of tasks. As the disease progresses and they experience its effects, they tend to lose their short term memory followed by things such as recognition, decision-making and planning. This may cause them to forgot things including where they live or how they got to a location. It may also lead them to wander as they will leave abruptly heading for somewhere with a goal in mind.
Wandering is a big part of dealing with seniors who have Alzheimer's. It can be cause for serious concern when not monitored. Seniors may expose themselves to harsh weather conditions or other conditions in which they could be hurt or killed.
Wandering takes various forms and includes the following:
Aimless wandering occurs when the person walking appears to have little or no or destination. They could be bored, in need of exercise or feeling stress or physical discomfort.
Purposeful or goal-oriented wandering occurs when the person is trying to return to familiar surroundings from her/his past. They may be needing something physically or looking for something to jog their fading memory.
Night-time wandering occurs when the broken sleep patterns and restlessness of the person lead to disorientation and confusion about time the time of day. The person may wander in the middle of night thinking that activities done in the day time need to be completed at the present moment.
Industrious wandering occurs because the person has a need to keep busy. They may be trying to re-establish or continue habits that were part of their life a long ago and that are familiar to them. This includes things such as going to work or catching the bus.
Personal Safety is a key component in anyone's life and seniors are no exception. Whether you are in your home or out on your daily travels, it's important to feel safe.
- Keep your head up and be aware of your surroundings.
- Walk in a well-lite areas.
- Carry your keys in your pocket in case your purse is stolen.
- If you think you are being followed, cross the street and go to the nearest home, business, or public place where someone can help you.
On a Scooter
- Scooter drivers are considered by law to be pedestrians.
- Always travel SLOWLY on the sidewalk. If sidewalks are not accessible, travel on the edge of the road facing oncoming traffic.
- Cross the road only at crosswalks or corners.
- Make yourself visible. Put reflective tape on all sides of the scooter.
Traveling by car
- Have your keys ready before approaching your car.
- Plan your travel route ahead of time so you don’t get lost.
- Never leave valuables on the seat beside you if the window is open
- If you have car trouble in a strange area, raise the hood, secure all doors, lock yourself in, and wait for the police.
- If strangers approach your vehicle and you sense danger, press your horn in SHORT blasts to attract attention.
While personal safety is important for seniors in their daily lives, ensuring their home is safe and secure is another priority. Seniors are encouraged to do the following to keep their homes safe:
- Conduct a security check of your home to determine possible entry points and any weaknesses they may have.
- Keep all entrances and garages well-lit at night
- Install good locks and always use them.
- Change your routine often. Burglars often monitor activities in a neighbourhood.
If you are planning to be on vacation, you should:
- Lock all windows, doors and garage before you leave.
- Leave a radio playing to indicate that someone is home.
- Discontinue mail and newspaper deliveries and arrange to have someone pick up any newspapers, mail or flyers that are left on your step.
- Let a trusted neighbour know you’re going to be away and how you can be contacted if necessary.
- Arrange to have someone look after your yard if you are away for several days.
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