Do You Know Who Is At Your Door?
As the numbers of seniors increase in population, we see ads for independent living communities:
- Enjoy a Resort-Like Living Environment
- Graciousness and Hospitality Throughout Each Day in a Warm, Residential Environment
- Fine Restaurant-type Dining
- Carefree Lifestyle Tailored to Your Needs
Who wouldn’t want this for a residence?
Unfortunately, one important feature is not mentioned: security. This oversight gave a murderer access to over a dozen women in four different independent living establishments in Collin and Dallas Counties, from April 2016 to his eventual arrest in March 2018. He posed as a maintenance worker and unsuspecting residents opened their door to him believing they were safe in their apartment at their establishment.
As we learned our loved ones had been murdered, we became aware how this predator gained access to the vulnerable. On a recent tour of an independent living establishment, assurances were made that garage entry was secure with the gate down, unless residents entered, or a staff member was monitoring the open gate. Sure enough, the gate was up, entry into the garage was easily accessible and there was no staff in sight. In those instances, residents should be advised not to open their door unless they know who is on the other side.
We vowed no other families should have our experience, and we are now dedicated to improving transparency and accountability in the profit-making senior living industry. We founded Secure Our Seniors’ Safety (SOSS) in July 2019, and our first goal is to pass legislation to improve senior security at residential establishments:
- Visitors register when entering establishments
- Background checks of workers
- Residents made aware of criminal activity at properties
- Law enforcement given access to residents when investigating crime
We believe it is time to care for those who cared for us. We will return to Austin for the 88th Legislative session with bills to improve senior security. We ask you to support our efforts.
Posted byon 17 May 2022