Keep Your Eye on That Grand Old Flag

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Spring and summer are very patriotic seasons. This weekend, we will pay tribute to those who fought for our freedoms with Memorial Day celebrations. Soon, we will commemorate D-Day, honor Flag Day, and not too far off is the mother of all summer holidays, the 4th of July. With the longer days and crystal clear weather, it’s the perfect time to fly our American flags and celebrate all that we love about the United States. I, for one, do it every chance I get.

While I firmly believe that love for our country is something shared by every generation, the demands of a busy lifestyle often cause non-seniors to only put their flags out on weekends or for special occasions. Seniors, on the other hand, generally have the time to observe the rules for proper flag display. And, of course -- quite rightly -- they do tend to have a strong sense of patriotism.

Sadly, some not-so-good citizens have caught on to this, which means that seniors who live alone and fly their flags daily can become easy targets for thieves and vandals. In addition to being a symbol of what makes our country great, an American flag can also signal: a senior lives here.

I would never advise a senior not to fly their flag. They’ve more than earned the right to be loud and proud. What I would suggest is taking a few precautions to ensure that Old Glory is not flagging down criminals:

  • Help your senior loved one network with other patriotic seniors. If they’re in a VA, perhaps they can start a phone tree with the other members. If you notice that other seniors in the neighborhood frequently fly their flags, encourage the members of both households to look out for each other.
  • Most seniors take their flags down before dark because that’s proper flag protocol. For an extra safety measure, ask your senior loved one to only fly their flag when they know that other people in the neighborhood are coming and going. So, if they live in a neighborhood where a lot of people work during the day, perhaps they could limit their flag flying to mornings and late afternoons.
  • Make sure the property is well-maintained so that it appears that someone in good physical health lives there.
  • Avoid other tip offs that it is a senior home such as excessive lawn ornaments or the senior’s name on the mailbox.

As always, frequent check-ins by you, other friends and family members or a trained CAREGiver not only lift spirits, they help ensure safety.

If you need someone to help check-in on your senior loved one, please contact Home Instead Senior Care of Central Oregon at (541) 330-6400 or Like us on Facebook .


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