Older people and their safety concerns

Time and again we read about the multiple attacks on our elder folks, from be robbed, raped to murder. Criminals target older individuals as they are the most vulnerable, can be easily manhandled and additionally if they are living alone these masterminds could get away with their crime. Within the span of less than two months, we have witnessed in news/newspapers about the recent rise in criminal activities against the elderly in the capital. The degree of these crimes have become more heinous and brazen that it leaves us with a chill running down our spines, making us contemplate the safety of our city!

The most recent incident was of a 72 year old woman being brutally murdered in Mohan Gardens near Dwarka, which has left everyone shocked. As she was killed and hacked into pieces to be then dumped into  a drain in Najafgarh . The plot seems to be taken right out of a horror movie and brutality with which it had been executed does leave us with the questions regarding the gruesome reality of the current safety and security of the elderly citizens inhabiting our city (whether with/without spouses). Currently there are 39,223 senior citizens residing in Delhi according to the police data, with the addition of 1,272 citizens this year. Many of whom are dwelling alone without their sons/daughters/families.

The Delhi Police says:

Citizens (elderly) who are living alone, are monitored quite often with updates taken regularly.

Beat officials are instructed to frequently visit them.

Senior Citizen helpline number 1291 in place.

A security cell formed at the police headquarters from where officers visit few of the older folks daily.

Physical security of the house evaluated on visits.

Feedbacks obtained on policing and implementation of guidelines

When a crime is committed, maximum effort is put forward in order to solve it at the earliest; additionally criminals with such modus operandi (MO) are kept under surveillance.

So, what to do or rather what not to do if your a home alone elderly citizen:


  • Safety is always first, therefore you must ensure that you have installed capable/effective blocking mechanisms on your door and windows.    
  • When the doorbell rings, make sure to use the magic eye to peep at the visitor before opening the door. If unsure use door chains while communicating with them or talk through the grill door to enquire their purpose and use auto-lock, which self-locks when you close door (for people who tend to forget).
  • When you decide to take a walk (evening/morning) call your friends/neighbor. Go out for walks in groups.
  • Connect your house to the neighbor’s with an alarm bell. So, you can ring someone when in danger.
  • Keep important phone numbers on speed dial.
  • Inform your nearest PCR van/police and neighbors. If you spot any suspicious character.
  • If you have decided to get a domestic help, driver, watchmen, tenant, washer-man or so on, get them verified at the nearest police station.
  • Take services (plumber/electrician, etc.) from only those recommended by the RWA (resident welfare association).
  • Be in touch with the local police and beat officer so they can visit you and make sure you’re okay.
  • If possible get a guard dog, not so much for status but for your own protection.


  • Don’t open the door for every tom, dick and harry use the aforementioned safety measure to answer the door
  • Please don’t give access to your cupboard or safes etc, to your servants, not saying all of them are suspicious but to be on a safer side.
  • Avoid discussing important family issues/ property in front of strangers/ domestic helps.
  • Don’t give your bank details to anyone over the phone including pin number, OTPs, a/c numbers etc.

  • Do not leave your valuables unattended. You might be an adamant believer of the phrase ‘if you got it, flaunt it’ but in these dire circumstances avoid pompous show of cash and jewelry.

Crime rate in the city against senior citizens are exponentially rising. Precaution alone won’t help but being vigilant about what going around might. Do be nosy and question everything and everyone even if some construction is being done in your next door neighbor’s house!.


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