Despite all the media headlines, crimes against elderly people are statiscally rare. However, they do feel vulnerable and there is much that can be done to help them feel safer.
Better locks, window locks, door viewers and chains, a telephone extension in the bedroom, can help them to feel more secure.
If you are elderly, here is a useful check list.
Many of your possessions will have a lot of sentimental value. Protect them by making sure your home is safe and marking your property.
Never keep a large amount of money in the house. Put it in a bank, post office or building society.
Don't keep your cheque book and cheque card together; a thief who steals both could use the card to forge your signature on cheques.
Keep an eye out for neighbours and they will keep an eye out for you. If you see anything that worries you, tell the police.
Join the Neighbourhood Watch scheme if there is one. Or talk to the crime prevention officer or beat officer at your local police station about setting one up.
Don't let in strangers at the door. They may say they are builders who have noticed your roof needs repairing, or they could say they are from the water or gas board or salesmen who want to buy your furniture or pictures. If you aren't sure, don't let them in. Click here to see the special advice on "bogus official" callers
You may be able to get help to pay for door and window locks and door chains. Ask the housing department of your council or the crime prevention officer at your local police station.
Remember that even the best security equipment is useless unless it's used - so always lock up even if you are just popping to the corner shop.
Age UK - Age UK is a new organisation that was formed by combining "Help the Aged" and "Age Concern"
Age UK Advice Line : 0800 169 6565 | Age UK website : www.ageuk.org.uk