Senior Center

Ways Senior Communities Can Prevent Theft

By Daniel @ LivingSenior - October 30, 2013

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Senior communities have been facing theft issues for decades. There have been issues of money being stolen, property being stolen, medical supplies being stolen and even prescriptions being stolen. Though most of these issues have come to light and the individuals causing the issues have faced legal action there are still issues within communities that must be addressed. Several communities have begun theft prevention programs that are geared primarily towards the staff. The following are a few of ways senior communities have developed theft prevention programs.

Limited Personal Items

Limited personal items are one of the key ways for many senior communities are preventing theft from residents and from other staff members. Limited personal items means that you cannot bring in any items such as a purse, backpack or other bag. You may bring in a small wallet that can be carried in your pocket or you may have to use an ID fob that is attached to your lanyard. This does bring up questions of how to pay for dinner while you're on shift or for another meal while on shift during your break. For this reason, many senior communities have now offered a free meal or low-cost meal option that comes out of the staff members pay. This illuminates the need for money while on shift and limits the personal item to a simple ID that is worn on the uniform or around the neck.


Checkpoints are another way of theft prevention being used in senior communities. These checkpoints are put in place to check items as they come into the facility and as they leave the facility. For example, if you or a staff member and you are a female you may have a purse on you when you come into the checkpoint area. Before you clock in your purse is checked thoroughly to ensure that you have only certain items that are allowed in the building during your shift. When you leave, your purse will again be checked to make sure that the same items that were in the purse are still there and that no additional items are on your person. Not many senior communities are using this option since it may be a violation of privacy to others and the limited personal item option is a much easier and simplistic option to prevent theft.

Locked up Items

Another option that is being used by some senior communities is to simply lock up certain items. This means that not only the staff members items but also the senior resident items are locked to prevent theft. This is only for expensive items or monetary items. For example, if a resident has money orders or expensive jewelry these may be kept in a safe until it is needed. This safe is run by a security officer or is monitored by administration. For a staff member, locked up items may consist of backpacks, purses and wallets. These are usually with the administrative staff on duty or the head nurse on duty for that wing. This has limited some theft and certain situations.