Crime and Older People

Older people and their families worry about crime.  Though older people are less likely to be victims of crime than teenagers and young adults, the number of crimes against older people is hard to ignore.  It is often highly publicized.  Each year, over two million older people are victims of crime. Couple Wearing Glasses

Older people are often targets for robbery, purse snatching, pocket picking, car theft, phone scams or home repair scams.  They are more likely than younger people to face attackers who are strangers.  During a crime, an older person is more likely to be seriously hurt than someone who is younger.

Even though there are risks, don’t let a fear of crime stop you from enjoying life.  Be careful and be aware of your surroundings.  The following tips address areas of concern to older people.  These are common sense tips that can help fight crime and protect your safety.

Stay Safe

There are many things you can do to keep you, your money, and your property safe.  These do’s and don’ts give you a place to start to be safe at home:

  • Do try to make sure that your locks, doors, and windows are strong and cannot be broken easily.  A good alarm system can help.
  • Do mark valuable property by engraving an identification number, such as your driver’s license number, on it.
  • Do make a list of expensive belongings.  You might even take pictures of the most valuable items.  Store these details in a safe place.
  • Don’t open your door before looking through the peephole or a safe window to see who’s there.  Ask any stranger to show proof that he or she is who they claim to be.  Remember, you don’t have to open the door if you feel uneasy.
  • Don’t keep large amounts of money in the house.
  • Do get to know your neighbors.  Join a Neighborhood Watch Program.

If you would like more information about “Crime and Older People” call the Senior LinkAge Line® at 1-800-333-2433.  The Senior LinkAge Line®: A One Stop Shop for Minnesota Seniors is a free statewide service of the Minnesota Board on Aging and Area Agencies on Aging.  Specialists provide one-to-one assistance with helping older adults age well and live well.  Call 1-800-333-2433 for assistance Monday through Friday from 8:00am to 4:30pm or chat with a specialist online during these hours at®.

Share on: