The ASAG Reverse Mortgage may help seniors invest in adequate home security systems as part of their home improvements objective.
Ageing in place is becoming highly prevalent amongst Australians, with many desiring to function living alone after the children branch out to build their own families. However, this is not a reason to rest on laurels, the property still has to be guarded as much as the senior should be able to reach for rapid help when needed.
Do you need a home security system?
There may be an abundant basis for seniors to have their properties being more closely guarded. A recent Compare the Market survey noted an increasing interest for Aussies to travel more in the supposedly post-pandemic climate. But the question remained on how to secure their properties as they leave, considering 179,400 homes were almost broken into by thieves for 2020-2021. The study cited 57.4 percent of Australians as not even installing security cameras or alarm systems. A Finder survey published in early 2022 also found that one in five Aussies do not lock their front doors.
Some home break-ins could even escalate to more dangerous incidents. A Perth court, for example, recently found three teenagers guilty of raiding a South Lake home in January 2021 and beating up a husband and wife, both in their early 90s, while ransacking their place. The NSW Police also caught a suspect for attempting to break into a Winmalee home and threatening bodily harm on a 55-year-old woman and her sons. These are possibly due to perceptions that older people are easy pickings for criminals.
Benefits of installing a security system
Installing a security system for an elderly loved one’s property can lend itself to a raft of benefits:
- Deterrence. The presence of security devices on a property may force would-be criminals to think twice. Even when they have done their best to case the joint, there’s no guarantee they might get away without sounding the alarm in the neighbourhood or being identified in security camera footage. If it does happen that a criminal breaks in and was able to steal something from the property, the presence of cameras will help authorities piece together the crime as it happened and possibly aid in recovering the stolen items.
- Peace of mind. If a security system is installed, a loved one will be reassured that the senior is safe and can be quickly reached in case of emergency. At the same time, the networking features of contemporary smart home solutions ensures that even if the senior is currently out of the property, a trusted loved one can still keep watch over the place.
- Insurance. Insurers evaluating a property may possibly recommend a lower homeowners premium as the protection eases the risk of damage, especially when the security is connected to other safety devices such as smoke alarms and sprinklers. Some insurance experts estimate that while installing a security system may be expensive to a degree, the return on investment can come in the premium being trimmed by as much as 20 percent.
Home security package
There are a number of items that should be seriously considered to firmly keep a senior’s property secure and deter potential disturbances to the resident or residents. A combination of these may even be bundled under a single vendor’s home security package.
Personal alarm unit
An elderly resident can immediately signal for help using a personal alarm. It is a small device with a panic button linked to an emergency alert service. Some personal alarm units are also designed with accelerometers to aid in slip and fall detection as well as GPS trackers for locating outdoors, which may be critical for people with dementia. At least one personal alarm vendor also shores up the value of their products with coverage under NDIS. Certain personal alarms may also be programmed for emergency signalling by auto-dialling to a loved one who can come over to help.
Security cameras and lights
No home security system can ever be complete without an array of cameras and lights watching over the property. Current developments in smart home technology have also boosted security cameras with features such as 4K video, WiFi connectivity, cloud storage, solar power, and automatic networking with local law-enforcement agencies. Infrared capability adds up to the protection at night, particularly in properties with a certain degree of isolation.
Security lighting is also critical to augment camera coverage in low-light/nighttime situations, even more with motion sensors that can illuminate the area as soon as any unauthorised movement is detected. Discussions with a security vendor may involve evaluations of the property to identify coverage areas, especially blind spots criminals might take advantage of.
Studies over the past few years indicated that at least 30 percent of burglaries in Australia took place as the thieves broke windows to get inside. This threat may be countered by installing security window film on the pane and glass sensors on the frames. Security film is designed to let the sunlight in and keep the solar radiation out, but also protects the glass against fully shattering and also prevents people viewing indoors. Glass sensors would also sound the alarm as soon as any breakage is detected. Ensuring the windows are locked before retiring for the day is also vital.
The front door is a major entry point for criminals and thus requires ample attention to keep them out. Some security experts recommend setting up the door with a smart lock system; their features include secure WiFi connections, networking with smart home assistant devices, and access using electronic keys, keypads, dedicated apps, and fingerprint scanners.
However, if a senior might not be familiar with certain smart devices, the door lock must be upgraded with more durable units, especially deadbolt locks, and the keys are with the senior and a loved one or trusted neighbour (but without an address tag attached in case the neighbour’s house was burgled). Putting the house key in certain discreet locations outside is not advisable as thieves are very familiar with the most common hiding places and may try logical deduction to figure where the key could actually be.
As seniors are vulnerable to just opening the door without verifying the identity of visitors, you may be encouraged to set up a doorbell camera to watch over the front area. Models currently out on the market are packed with features such as smartphone app controls, HD video, and a monitor interface, allowing a person to directly communicate with whoever is at the door.
The ASAG Reverse Mortgage
Every elderly Australian deserves to live their retirement in peace and quiet, whether they are independent or have loved ones coming over every now and then. The ASAG Reverse Mortgage may help the senior invest in adequate security solutions as part of their Home Improvements objective.
Our team at ASAG is here to help ensure that security. Inquire at 1300 002 724 or email us at email@example.com. You can also do an assessment to know your available equity by using our free tool below.