Elderly men and women are particularly vulnerable when it comes to crime. Lacking physical strength, agility, and stamina can all play a part in making them appear to be easy targets. Criminals expect them to get flustered and not fight back.
But it doesn’t have to be that way for every senior citizen, and it may be critical for them to learn how to defend themselves whenever possible. Consider discussing the following tips with the elders in your life.
- Don’t be a target. One of the first ways to defend yourself is simple: Don’t need to defend yourself. It means not taking unnecessary chances. Do you need to open the door to the delivery man? Does the garbage have to be taken out at night? Can you ask a store attendant to walk with you to your car?
- Show confidence. If you’re heading to your car, make sure you know where it is first. Walk with purpose. Look around, staying aware of your surroundings. It’s harder to sneak up on someone who is paying attention.
- Recognize that you have weapons. If you’re not at home, you probably have keys, a purse, or even a cane. Anything nearby can be used as a weapon or a deterrent. Key fobs have panic alarms and your groceries might include something hard. You can also purchase pepper spray, a whistle, or other self-defense tools.
- Use your body. Take a self-defense class that caters to the elderly. You’ll learn that fingers, elbows, feet, and knees have power, so use them if you have to. If there isn’t a training facility in your area, try to get a group of interested seniors together and ask a local instructor to consider training the group. With age, some movements may be limited, but any knowledge can be helpful in a desperate situation.
- Get physically fit. If the worst happens, recovering from a physical attack is much easier if your body is strong. Take a regular exercise class or engage in regular strength training.
Self-defense isn’t just for the young. There are so many ways to stay safe, so take the time to find out techniques that will work for your loved ones.