Whether for you or a loved one, moving into a senior community can be an exciting opportunity to expand your social circle, enjoy new experiences and thrive in the next phase of life. When it comes to picking out the perfect home, it’s essential to search for and create an environment of security. Below are four important factors to keep in mind when talking safety for seniors.

Protect Your Health

Especially amid the global COVID-19 pandemic, community staff and management should have a clear plan in place to protect the health and safety of their residents. The good news is that senior communities offer many benefits during times of uncertainties

When researching communities ask them about their safety protocols. (You can view Vineyard’s COVID-19 promise here). 

Understand that communities may have extra precautions to limit interactions with others as much as possible. For example, to follow the CDC guidelines, a senior community might implement any of the following practices:

  • Food delivery services to bring meals directly to the front door
  • Providing personal protection equipment, masks and hand sanitizer for all residents
  • Implementing extra sanitization procedures and partnering with a professional cleaning service to ensure communal spaces are safe
  • In-home or in-apartment activities or physical exercise sessions to maintain health and social distancing

Even after the threat of COVID-19 subsides, when you know your new home and community have safety for seniors as a top priority, you’ll have greater peace of mind.

Stay Connected

When we talk about going digital, we’re not just referring to social media or smartphones. Technology can be one of the most effective tools to ensure day-to-day safety in a senior living community. Many homes and apartments have custom solutions to enhance your space. Checking out the tech specifications and connectivity options in a new community should be one of your top priorities. 

Not sure what to look for? 

For instance, our Vineyard Connect program provides tablets to all residents for quick access to safety alerts, community events, dining specials and activity calendars. We also have motion-censored mattress pads that trigger lights to turn on when residents get out of bed at night. This mitigates the risk of bumping into furniture or walls in the dark. For those that might not feel comfortable with technology just yet, our staff provides on-site training and support.

Watch for Scams

Frequent training on scams directed at seniors, and knowing how to recognize them, are vital to protecting your data and information from malicious attacks. Ask your community staff if they provide cybersecurity classes or seminars. Also, inquire about safety procedures they have in place for the community WiFi network. 

Beyond that, keep yourself on alert and follow these best practices to prevent you or a loved one from falling victim to a cyber scam:

  • Do not provide income or personal information to anyone other than trusted and known individuals.
  • Do not open texts, emails or any digital messages from unknown addresses.
  • Don’t click on any unknown links sent in messages or texts. 
  • Question if an offer seems too good to be true. For example, investigate and confirm the validity of all sweepstakes, prizes, inheritances and gift packages before engaging in further dialogue.
  • Use your community’s safe drop box or service to send and receive mail.
  • Hire an identity theft or credit monitoring service to help respond to potential attacks as quickly as possible.

Safety for Seniors: Leverage Your Community’s Resources 

By and large, modern communities are designed with safety for seniors in mind. When searching for a new home for yourself or your loved one, you want to ensure that they have the right safety procedures and resources in place to make you feel comfortable. 

Make sure to interview the staff and tour the community and ask about the above safety factors. Then once you or your loved one moves into the community, make sure to utilize those resources! Attend seminars or classes, ask staff for help using safety features and embrace in-home technology.

Contact your nearest Vineyard community to learn more about how we protect the safety of our residents.