Unfortunately predators tend to prey upon what they consider the weakest members of the population. Senior citizens are frequently targeted and can find themselves victim of many types of crime. It is important for seniors to take note of the safety tips listed below to help avoid dangerous situations.
Avoiding Danger: One of the easiest safety tips is to display confidence. Criminals are looking for victims who appear timid and are less likely to assault someone who is confident and alert. Walk with a purpose and hold your head up rather than shuffling your feet and staring at the ground. Whenever possible, go out with other people or make sure to stay in areas where large crowds are present. Predators are less likely to strike when there are other people around.
Purse Safety: Purse snatching is a very common crime. Make sure when you carry a purse or wallet never carry large sums of money, never flash money for all to see, or carry valuables in full view. Be sure to be alert when you are carrying a purse on the street or in a store. Use a shoulder strap model and keep it tucked between your body and arm and make sure to hold it so that it opens towards your body. Do not wrap the straps around your wrist or you could be dragged or knocked to the ground in the event of a purse snatch.
Parking Tips: While shopping our shopping try to park as close to your destination as possible. Always make sure to park in well lit areas. Criminals tent to hide in dark spots where there are not many people around. When you walk back to your car make sure your hands aren’t too full with packages and bags. Keep your keys out upon approaching your vehicle and be ready to get in a drive away quickly.
Get a Personal Alarm System: One of the best ways to discourage someone from following through with an assault is to get help. Make sure you call for assistance, but that does not always work. It is a good idea to have something that will get attention such as a personal alarm. This is a self defense device that emits an ear splitting siren. It will be noticed by anyone in the vicinity and alert bystanders that you are in need of assistance.
Take a Self Defense Class: Sometimes criminals will set their minds on an attack and nothing can prevent it. To best protect yourself in these situations, take a senior citizen self defense class. This can teach you some basic but highly effective moves that are designed to catch an assailant off guard and give you the opportunity to get away safely. Many of these classes will teach you how to use commonly carried items to defend yourself.
Public Transportation Safety: If you take public transportation make sure to spend time watching the people around you. Be wary of people who act suspicious or sit too close when there are plenty of seats available. You may want to read or nap while riding, but it is very important that you stay alert at all times, especially if you have several bags or packages with you.
Safe Travel Times: Try to avoid riding public transportation at night. Crime rates always go up after dark. Avoid bus stops located in isolated areas and taking subway systems after dark. While taxis may cost more they are much safer to use, especially if you are alone. Never exit a taxi in a dark area, but ask the driver to drop you off in a safe well lit area.
Having a Safe Home: Many years ago people were able to leave their doors unlocked and windows down, but in most places those days are long gone. Make sure you install durable locks on all your windows and doors. Never leave spare keys under your doormat or in a conspicuous place. If you can afford it install a security alarm system in your home, but if not consider placing a security sign in your yard. Never open the door to an unexpected visitor unless you can identify them through a peephole or window. Keep an eye out for people who might be watching your home and report any suspicious characters to the police.
While on Vacation: Make sure to have someone pick up your mail and newspapers or temporarily cancel the subscription. Hide any valuables in a well constructed or diversion safe. Before you leave tell a trusted neighbor that you will be out of town. Ask them to keep an eye on your house and give them a number they can reach you in case of an emergency.
Carry a non-lethal weapon: Consider carrying a personal self defense weapon. There are several types available, and it is a good idea to find out about all of them to determine which one works best for you. Make sure you take a self defense class that will train you on how to properly handle and fire the device. Remember that not all weapons are legal in every state, so make sure you will not be breaking the law if you carry one. Good non-lethal weapons to consider are pepper spray, stun guns, and TASERS.
An Attacker with Lethal Weapon: Although it is important to do everything to avoid danger and prevent a confrontation, it is very important to realize that if an attacker is carrying a gun, knife or any lethal weapon, your best option is to cooperate. While you may lose money or personal items, none of it is worth risking your life.