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8 ways to keep someone you know who lives alone protected

Caring for a loved one who values their independence and prefers to live alone can be challenging.

You may feel anxious about their well-being when you are not around and hope that their neighbors alert you if something goes wrong. 

There are steps to ensure that your loved one is safe, even when they are by themselves.

Here are 8 of my best tips for helping them stay secure at all times.

1. Turn on your smartphone emergency settings

Smartphones come with lots of settings to ensure their safety in case of an emergency. 

Whether your loved one has an iPhone or an Android, there are certainly ways to set up their phones to make sure that they can quickly contact you, the authorities, or any other emergency contact in a quick second.

Here are some steps you can follow.

How to activate Emergency settings on an iPhone

  • Open your Settings 
  • Tap Emergency SOS
  • Make sure Call with Hold and Release is toggled On. This will allow the person to quickly call 911 by holding the side button and either volume button, a countdown begins, and an alarm sounds. After the countdown, if you release the buttons, the iPhone will call emergency services.
  • Now, go back to your Settings page and scroll down to select Health 
  • Click Medical ID 
  • Click Edit 
  • Scroll down to Emergency Contacts and ensure all the necessary people are added. This could include family members, friends, doctors, etc.
  • Once those are set, you can hold down the off button and bottom volume button on each side of the iPhone again and swipe Medical ID to reach out to your emergency contacts quickly. Note this is how you can access an emergency contact on someone else’s phone as well.

Smartphones have settings that can protect their user if they’re in need of help.

How to activate Emergency settings on an Android

Steps could vary depending on your Android model. The following directions are for a Samsung 

  • Open the Contacts app
  • Click on the 3 horizontal lines
  • Tap Emergency Contacts under Groups in the menu to the left
  • Add your emergency contact 
  • Go to Settings
  • Select Safety & Emergency
  • Turn on Emergency SOS. Once that’s turned on, you can quickly press the side button 5 times in an emergency to call for help on your Android to call 911

2. Use a smart home speaker

Smart home devices can be extremely helpful for contacting loved ones in case of an emergency.

Here are the steps for doing so if you have an Alexa device or a Google Nest device.

The smart home speaker can allow users to make an emergency call.

3. Use personal protection

Another reason why you might be worried about your loved one who lives alone is that they have to leave their home and come back to an empty house. Criminals will likely target people who live alone before they target a house full of people, so you’ll want to still make sure that your loved one is safe at all times.

That’s why there’s tons of protective technology out there that is portable, so your loved one can carry it with them wherever they go. While traditional personal protection gear such as mace and pepper spray are illegal in some states, you can still find other items like alarms, flashlights, and more. 

4. Video Monitoring

If you’re still concerned about your loved one living alone and would like to keep an eye on them with their consent, you can install video cameras inside and outside of their home. Ask them if they’d be okay with you installing security cameras in key areas of their property, such as the front and back entryway, living room, and kitchen.

These cameras can be accessed remotely through a smartphone or computer, allowing you to check on the person periodically in case they don’t answer their phone when you try to reach them. It provides an extra sense of security and can help detect any unusual activities or emergencies.

5. Wear a smartwatch

See if your loved one would be willing to wear a personal safety item such as a smartwatch or a safety pendant.

This way, if they fall or have some other emergency where they can’t reach their phone, they can use their personal safety wearable device to call for help.

These devices typically come with features like GPS tracking, emergency SOS buttons, fall detection, and more, so they’re definitely worth checking out.

smart watch
Smart watches can determine the user’s health condition and has GPS tracking.

6. Install smart lighting

Smart lighting can be helpful in the home of someone who lives alone because that system can typically be controlled remotely or programmed on a schedule. This way, the person can turn their lights on and off even when they’re not home to give off the impression that someone is in the house, making a criminal less likely to break in. Motion-activated lights outside the home could also prevent criminals from breaking in since they want to avoid being seen.

7. Have a reliable home security system

Home security systems are essential for a person who lives alone. The ones nowadays will typically come with a compatible smartphone app so that the person can always be immediately alerted if someone is trying to break in. It’s also helpful for alerting the authorities and can provide that extra layer of security to give the person peace of mind when they’re home alone, especially during those late-night hours.

8. Use a video doorbell

Smart video doorbells are also excellent to use for people who live alone because they come with cameras and two-way audio systems. So not only can you see who’s at your door, but you can communicate with them too. Some also come with motion detection abilities so that you can see who is in front of your house before they even get to your door.

video doorbell
A video doorbell can come in handy if you have an unexpected visitor.

Kurt’s key takeaways

Whether you’re the person living alone or the one who’s worried about your family member or friend, there are ways to add that extra layer of protection. Consider my suggestions above and see which options you think might work best for you because you can never be too cautious when it comes to the safety of your loved ones.

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