Avoid Being a Target

As individuals age, they may not move as fast as their younger counterparts. However, that doesn’t mean they’re not capable of self-defense. The first thing to learn about self-defense and how to avoid being targeted by criminals is that you have to be aware of your surroundings.

When you pay attention to what’s going on around you, you’re less likely to find yourself in a self-defense situation. If victims had been more aware of their surroundings, the circumstances could have been avoided.

Here are things to remember that can lessen your risk of being victimized. And remember, it’s always better to avoid trouble than confront it.

  • Walk with purpose.
  • Keep your eyes up.
  • Know where the exits are.
  • Watch for suspicious people.
  • Avoid places that are known to be unsafe.
  • Don’t go places alone.
  • Run errands during the day.
  • Don’t linger in isolated places.
  • Don’t be distracted.
  • Stay in well-lit areas.
  • Always be aware of your surroundings.
  • Keep your keys in your hand, ready to go.

Don’t Be Overly Trusting

One of the things that makes seniors easy prey for perpetrators is the fact that they are often more trusting than younger folks. While it’s always nice to give people the benefit of believing they’re good, don’t do it with a blind eye. Here are ways to avoid being overly trusting and putting yourself and your property at risk.

  • Never open your car or house door to a stranger. If they need to borrow the phone, leave them on the porch.
  • If someone starts moving toward you asking for help, tell them right away you can’t help them and keep moving.
  • Don’t give out unnecessary personal information. No one needs to know your street address (saying you live in Chicago is close enough). And if they ask whether your children live locally, always say yes – even if they’re halfway around the world.
  • Never allow someone to take you to another location. If you’re in an attacker situation, fight to stay where you are. Once you leave, chances are that the danger will increase.

A Few Tips

  • If you’re carrying groceries or laundry, use a luggage cart or pull behind. This keeps your hands free and makes you less likely to be attacked.
  • Instead of carrying around $1,000 in cash and 10 credit cards in your wallet, only carry what you need. That way if your wallet is stolen, the criminal didn’t get everything.
  • Carry a travel wallet instead of your regular wallet. It keeps your valuables hidden and isn’t accessible to pickpockets and other thieves.
  • For women who carry purses, consider wearing it on the inside of your jacket instead of the outside. This makes it less visible and harder to reach if someone tried to snatch it.
  • Improve your chances of evading criminals by staying active and fit. Seniors who live active lifestyles are faster, stronger, and have quicker reaction times than their peers.