Everything Seniors Should Know About Home Security Systems

It’s a fact that most seniors desire to stay in the comfort of their homes as long as possible. Unfortunately, it’s also a fact that seniors are prime targets for thieves, as they are often considered more vulnerable than youths or middle aged citizens. The good news is that a reliable security system can provide a low-cost solution that offers seniors and their family’s greater peace of mind and optimal protection.

Today’s modern security systems can be as basic or as extensive as one desires, and there are even options for monitored systems today that integrate personal alert systems for additional safety for the elderly. Such convenience allows seniors to age in place as long as possible, so they can live more fulfilled lives in the comfort of their home while feeling secure and safe. This home security guide for seniors will discuss installation methods, home compatibility, monitoring options, and key features that seniors often find both convenient and easy to use.

Home Security Installation Options

While there are home security systems that can be self-installed, these systems may not have all of the features that senior needs. Furthermore, many security system monitoring companies will only agree to hold contracts with homeowners if the equipment is professional installed by their providers. Most importantly, it’s essential to choose a security solution that utilizes reliable equipment designed to meet the unique needs of the elderly individuals residing within the home.

Even if you’re planning on doing a self-installation job and skipping monitoring services entirely, it’s recommended to consult with a security professional for advice concerning options, features and setup. As a bonus, and most consultations are free from major security installers and monitoring providers with no obligation to purchase or sign a contract. If you do opt to sign on with a monitoring company, it's likely that installation and even a good portion of the security equipment will be free, as well.

Home Security Systems and Compatibility Issues

Compatibility with home security systems can depend on a number of things. Primarily it depends on whether the home is older or boasts more modern connectivity features and whether its location is urban or more rural. However, there are some home security systems for seniors suited to use most anywhere. Options include: Wi-Fi, cellular and landlines.

Wi-Fi Home Security Systems

Most modern home security systems depend on broadband, so they utilize Wi-Fi connectivity to function and are the most reliable option for systems with home automation features. It’s essential that the coverage be reliable, which may be challenging in certain rural areas.

Cellular Connected Home Security

This is the most expensive option, but cellular connections tend to be less susceptible to tampering. Like Wi-Fi connections, cellular service needs to be reliable within the area with solid coverage for maximum security. Connectivity losses can prohibit the ability to check security alerts, cameras and remote operation capacity.

Landline Based Home Security

For those in rural communities with poor cell service or who live in older homes without Wi-Fi or with unreliable service, landline based home security can provide a solution. While landline monitoring is the most affordable option and offers great reliability there is one potential danger—potential burglars cutting the homes wires which disables the entire system.

Home Security Monitoring Options for Seniors

Indeed, unmonitored systems keep costs low for the elderly, but they don’t have the ability to offer superior home protection. Monitored systems can easily be activated to connect seniors live to monitoring representatives can assist with dispatching law enforcement, fire fighters and even medical care in emergencies. Unmonitored systems require the homeowner to make a phone call to report such incidences, and this may not always be feasible which puts seniors and their homes at higher risk.

Features such as 24/7 monitoring ensures that residents get the help they need when they need it. Monitored systems can automatically alert homeowners to a number of issues ranging from motion detection and door and window intrusions to one-touch activation of two-way voice contact with monitoring center staff. Fortunately, there are actually several major home security monitoring companies and installers that offer special discounts for seniors including free equipment, installation and lowered monthly costs for qualified individuals.

Features of Home Security Systems for the Elderly

It’s important to keep in mind that a lot of bells and whistles are available amid today’s home security system options. While more tech-savvy seniors may want the full array of features available to them, some may prefer a more simplistic yet effective system installed. Ease of use can be essential in a life-threatening emergency, so make sure the senior understands how to use the features and can be realistically expected to have the capacity to do so. Consider larger arming and disarming panels with brighter screens and pull-button activation for emergency services. Here are some additional home security features and options that can help protect seniors living on their own.

Home Security Cameras

Enjoy the security of having 24/7 access to live views of the interior and exterior of the home with security cameras. These can be programed to activate and/or record footage only upon the triggering of a sensor or they can operate continuously. Seniors who frequently leave home may want to choose a provider with mobile app support, so they can view security feeds anytime, anywhere.

Motion Detectors and Security Sensors in the Home

Motion detecting lights and sensors in driveways, at entryways and in other areas of the home have become more commonplace as security measures. Today, these lighting systems can be incorporated into a modern security system and work wonderfully with security cameras, so one can now not only know something’s happening in the home but they can actually see it and record it. Detection systems and sensors hat can be programmed to send notifications and alerts to owners when activated or even law enforcement if so desired. Other types of sensors to consider for seniors include glass break sensors, freeze sensors and heat sensors.

  • Glass Break Sensors – Glass break intrusion protection adds an extra layer of protection from intruders. These systems are designed to detect the sound of glass breaking.
  • Freeze Sensors – Seniors will receive a notice about potentially low temperatures that could cause ruptured pipes. This helps prevent costly disasters and gives one time to have them insulated and wrapped.
  • Heat Sensors -These sensors are activated by fast rising temperatures that could be indicative of a possible fire. No smoke is necessary for activation, so even if smoke hasn’t begun or is blowing the other way, owners are alerted to the threat.

Home Security Mobile Alerts

Wi-Fi and cellular enabled security systems often come with convenient applications that notify seniors and/or family members of any alerts within the home. These apps also allow the home to be checked on periodically and even view security footage if cameras are installed.

Remote Control Activation and Panic Buttons

A top feature for seniors are home security systems that include remote control options such as key fobs. This allows the system to be turned on and off with a click, so they don’t have to hurry down halls or stairways to turn off false alarms. Many of these remote controls also have a panic feature for emergencies, which gives seniors and their loved ones even greater peace of mind.

Home Security Companies Seniors Should Consider

The following are some of the most popular and reputable home security companies in the industry that seniors should consider when researching home security options:

  • ADT
  • Brinks
  • Frontpoint
  • SimpliSafe
  • Vivint

Since graduating from Harvard with an honors degree in Statistics, Jeff has been creating content in print, online, and on television. Much of his work has been dedicated to informing seniors on how to live better lives. As Editor-in-Chief of the personal… Learn More About Jeff Hoyt