Retirement Communities: 9 Security Measures That Keep You Safe
Retirement is all about having the freedom to do what you want when you want to do it. After decades of working, you deserve to spend your retirement years in a beautiful, comfortable andsafe environment. With nearly 25 million people in the U.S. over the age of 55, retirement communities have tripled in number since the early 2000s. Additionally, the popularity of retirement communities continues to surge as they provide wider varieties of support, amenities and opportunities for retirees to enjoy life at its fullest.
One of the most important things to consider when choosing a retirement community is what kind of security measures the community has in place. Residents should feel safe in their retirement community and enjoy doing activities and taking walks without worrying. Safety measures are also essential to prevent residents with dementiasuch as Alzheimer’s disease from wandering.
9 Security Measures Essential for the Safety of Retirement Community Residents
Retirement community security measures depend on the type of community, such as assisted living, independent living and memory care. Residents living in an assisted living community may not need the rigorous kind of security a skilled nursing community requires that is home to people with moderate to severe cognitive problems.
When evaluating the security measures below, keep in mind the type of community you or your relative will be living in. You may need all of the security precautions below, or just a few to feel comfortable in your new home.
1. Check-in Area for Visitors
Relatives and friends of retirement community residents should be identified before entering the community. All service workers, vendors and contractors should also be screened to ensure the safety of residents and team members. Just like a gated community has checkpoints open 24/7 through which visitors must be screened before being allowed to pass through, a retirement home or retirement community should have this or similar measures to monitor who’s on premise.
2. Security Fencing or Gating
To stop unauthorized vehicles or individuals from entering a retirement community, sturdy fencing or gates should enclose the entirety of the community’s landscape and buildings. Appropriately placed fencing is typically utilized in a way that only allows visitors to enter through one driveway and exit out another driveway.
3. Security Cameras
Alzheimer’s care and dementia care retirement communities often have security cameras placed in areas where residents could fall, suffer a medical emergency or inadvertently wander away from the community. When evaluating a retirement community for a parent or grandparent, take care to see if security cameras are installed in entrances, parking areas, hallways and public spaces where residents gather to socialize. In a memory care community where residents may try to remove or damage security cameras, community owners often install hidden cameras to ensure their safety at all times.
4. Security Lighting
Motion-activated security lighting can protect residents from unwanted guests or problems in the area. When used outside residential community buildings, motion-activated security lights work well to prevent unauthorized entrance of individuals after dark They also help residents of non-assisted and assisted living communities see clearly in the dark when walking to and from their vehicle or home. Interior motion-activated security lighting is essential for a memory care community where residents may become easily confused and wander.
5. 24/7 Security
Retirement community residents who remain active and frequently leave the community “after hours” often feel safer knowing professional personnel or a security system is there to protect the premises after most of the team members leave for the day. Security guards can be placed at all or some building entrances, at gatehouses or remain in front lobbies to watch people come and go. A security monitoring system can also ensure resident safety.
6. Emergency Shelter Areas
Retirement communities in areas prone to storms should have bold-printed signs marking areas where residents should go in case of a severe weather event. Hallways should have directional signs with arrows pointing the way to stairwells, basements or other areas of safety. In a memory care community, team members will be responsible for ensuring residents are quickly assembled in safe zones. Most retirement communities are mandated by local, state and federal laws to provide shelter-in-place areas that provide protection from tornadoes, floods or other similar emergencies.
7. Entrance Doors That Remain Locked and Accessible Only to Team Members
Residents of Alzheimer’s care neighborhoods need to be kept safe from wandering off the grounds and into potentially dangerous situations. Continuing care and dementia care retirement communities often accomplish this by keeping entrance doors secured 24/7. Only authorized personnel with ID cards or pin numbers are able to open doors locked from the outside and inside.
8. Emergency Response Systems in Bathrooms and Bedrooms
People living independently or partially independently in retirement communities should have access to an emergency response system in the event they experience a medical issue. This system is usually a panel embedded in a wall that includes a button to push for assistance or to activate a two-way intercom. When a resident pushes the button, an alarm should warn team members that a resident needs assistance. For many retirees, having an emergency response system available gives them peace of mind while motivating them to live as independently as their health allows.
9. Pandemic-Related Security Measures for All Retirement Communities
Until a vaccine can be implemented globally, COVID-19 presents a serious risk to everyone’s health, especially people living in a retirement home or retirement community. If a coronavirus outbreak happens in a community, supervisors and staff should have a plan to isolate the problem and protect other residents. Retirement community safety in 2020 and beyond means implementing COVID-19 prevention techniques and protections in their list of security measures.
Contact Homestead at Hamilton for More Information About Retirement Community Security Measures
At Homestead at Hamilton, we take both physical and health safety seriously. Our goal is to ensure every resident in our community maintains their lifestyle, while living in a supportive environment that keeps them safe. For our independent living residents, that means fewer security measures and more support for their independence. For our memory care residents, that means great daily assistance and engaging activities that provide opportunities to connect.
To learn more, take a virtual tour of our beautiful community or contact us for more details. We’re here to help you find the right retirement community for your lifestyle – including one with the security measures that make you feel safe and comfortable.