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Senior Well-Being

Best Door Locks for Seniors [Reviews & Tips to Improve Safety]

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An old door with a doorknob and glass panes

Seniors need special care and attention when it comes to safety. Most standard door locks and security solutions out there are simply not optimal for them. However, securing their home is extremely important as older people have a higher risk of becoming victims of a robbery than other citizens.

Choosing the right locking system is essential to keep your loved ones safe.

Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to find a door lock (smart or traditional) that meets all the criteria. In recent years, I’ve done a ton of research to find reliable and user-friendly door locks that best suit the needs of elderly people.

Therefore, you don’t have to waste your money and time on solutions that seem to be promising but do not work as expected.

In a hurry? Here are the best door locks for seniors:

  • Kwikset 980 deadbolt
  • Kwikset Smartcode 888 smart lock
  • Defender Security Keyless Door Lock
  • Strike plate lock or a heavy-duty door chain
  • Doorknob locks and door lever locks

Now let’s see them one by one.

1. Best Traditional Door Lock for Seniors

You can reinforce your door(s) in many ways, but you won’t get too far without a secure deadbolt.

If all you need is a reliable lock, and using keys is not a problem then you should go for a traditional model that meets the ANSI Grade 1 standards.

What does it mean?

The ANSI (American National Standards Institute) grading system ranges from 1 to 3. For the highest level of residential security, you should opt for a Grade 1 deadbolt.

If security is a top priority for you, make sure your lock also passes the UL 437 security test. This standard ensures that the lock resists many kinds of attacks, such as picking or drilling. These techniques are often used by burglars to get through a door and it usually takes only a few seconds for poor quality locks to give in.

When it comes to choosing a secure door lock, I always recommend Kwikset 980. It’s an affordable deadbolt that meets both ANSI Grade 1 and UL 437 standards. It’s manufactured by a reputable company and has stood the test of time. It’s a really great choice for seniors to improve door security.

You can check out the current price here (on Amazon).

2. Best Smart Lock for Seniors

Kwikset 98880-004 SmartCode 888 Smart Lock Touchpad Electronic Deadbolt Door Lock
Click on the image to check the price on Amazon

Smart locks are getting more and more popular for a good reason: besides providing a keyless solution, they also allow seniors to remotely control and check the status of their locking system.

So if you have a traditional lock and you worry about losing your keys or just want to check if your door is locked using your phone, switching to a smart door lock can really give you peace of mind.

Why are smart locks great solutions for seniors?

Let’s see the advantages of a smart door lock:

  • No need for keys. While it’s true that most smart locks come with a key, there is no need for them. Seniors can easily go keyless and they don’t have to worry about losing their key and locking themselves out anymore. After entering the code using the keypad, the door can be opened.
  • Auto-lock feature. Many smart locks come with an auto-lock feature. What it does is lock the door automatically after a certain period of time. This ensures that the door won’t remain open even if a senior leaves home without locking it.
  • Remote control. You can easily check the status of the lock on your own smartphone. Moreover, you can even lock (or open) the door remotely (in case your loved one forgets about it, for instance).
  • Use as many codes as you need and change them whenever you want. You can give access (permanently or temporarily) to as many family members or friends as you want. Revoking access is just as simple and does not require you to replace the deadbolt (just delete the code and you’re done).

As you can see, seniors (and their relatives) can benefit a lot from a smart lock.

There are quite a few models on the market, my favorite (that has all the features mentioned above) is the Kwikset Smartcode 888.

Here you can find an in-depth review of Kwikset 888, and you can check out the current pricing here.

3. A Keyless Door Lock Can Significantly Improve Security

Using a secure deadbolt is the first (and extremely important) step towards a safer home. However, to further enhance security, seniors should reinforce their doors from the inside by installing a simple keyless door lock.

A keyless door reinforcement lock is a useful security add-on that helps prevent forced entries (such as kick-ins).

Some models can withstand several hundreds of pounds of force. It is affordable and can be installed quickly.

Ease of use is very important for the elderly. The last thing you want is to make their life more complicated. Fortunately, keyless locks are simple devices, so most seniors won’t experience any difficulties using them.

Defender Security U 10827 Door Reinforcement Lock – Add Extra,
Click on the image to check the current price on Amazon

This model is my favorite keyless door lock. It’s durable, comes at a great price, and takes only about 10 minutes to install. Click on the image to check out the current pricing on Amazon.

If you live with your elderly loved one who suffers from dementia (or if you are a caregiver), this safety device will also help you keep seniors from leaving the house and prevent wandering.

Keep in mind that if your elderly loved one lives alone and suffers from dementia, securing a door with a lock that you (or any other family member) have no access to, is not recommended. Seniors with cognitive impairment may occasionally be confused and during these periods there is a chance that they won’t be able to unlock the door by themselves.

4. A Reliable Door Chain Will Help You Keep Unauthorized Persons Out

Door chains are very useful security devices as they prevent unauthorized persons from entering your home while they allow opening the door slightly so that you can freely and securely communicate.

Seniors can benefit a lot from a good-quality door chain.

However, not all of them are created equal. Unfortunately, many of the available models are simply too weak to resist forced entry.

Picking the right type of door chain is essential. I usually recommend using a strike plate lock that has the same function as a standard door chain and it also looks very similar at first glance.

That being said, a strike plate lock is much more durable than most door chains as it can withstand up to 50 kicks according to the manufacturer (also, it’s easier to install as well).

You can check out the current pricing on Amazon here.

If you prefer traditional door chains, have a look at this heavy-duty model (keep in mind that for seniors with Parkinson’s disease or arthritic hands, it might not be the best option).

5. Dementia Proof Door Knobs and Lever Locks

Door Lever Lock (2 Pack) Child Proof Doors & Handles,
Click on the image to check the price on Amazon

As an alternative to traditional locks, you can use doorknob locks or lever locks to prevent seniors with dementia from leaving the house or entering a room.

These simple devices are officially made to keep children inside, however, many of them are also appropriate to prevent elderly people with cognitive impairment from wandering.

For door levers, check out this model on Amazon. It’s pretty simple to install and can be really effective in most cases. For door knobs, I would go with this unobtrusive model.

Frequently Asked Questions

I have installed a smart lock on my parents’ door. What if they forget the code?

Remembering a four-digit code is usually not a problem for seniors without cognitive decline. However, if this is a concern, they can take the key with themselves (as a backup solution). Also, you can set multiple codes, so if your parents can’t enter their home, they just have to call you and you can either open the door lock using your phone app or give them a new code.

What other types of keyless door locks exist?

Besides the above-mentioned keyless door reinforcement lock, you can use a door barricade, a security bar, or a barrel bolt latch. Click here for even more types of door locks.

How can seniors prevent their doors from being kicked in? What is the best solution?

We have a whole post about the best methods here. Besides having a durable deadbolt and a keyless door reinforcement lock, I would recommend reinforcing the hinges and the strike plate. You may also want to consider using a security bar or installing a door barricade.

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About the Author

James Mora is the founder of DailyHomeSafety. He is a home improvement expert, contractor, avid DIYer, and security manager. He is passionate about home repairs, remodeling, and teaching. Read More

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