Could You Defend Yourself Against an Attack?

If you’re 50 or older, you know that your body and possibly your mind are not quite what they used to be.

We’re not as fit as we once were. We’re not as strong. We’re not as fast. We may not be quite as sharp mentally. We’re more vulnerable to physical attacks and burglaries. In fact, we may be the most at risk group in America.

On the other hand, our life experiences have given us insights we did not used to possess. We’ve learned how to (and how not to) respond to certain situations.

We understand our weaknesses and we realize there are potential threats all around us. And fortunately, we’re smart enough to know we have to be proactive to protect ourselves.

Alarming statistics

Here are a few disturbing statistics about crime against seniors. Robbery accounts for one in four violent crimes against seniors.

Property crimes, including burglary and auto theft, represent 90 percent of crimes against seniors.

Two-thirds of seniors believe they will be crime victims at some point. Nearly 75 percent of those 75 and older are afraid to leave home after dark.

Instead of living in fear, seniors should learn how to defend themselves. This does not necessarily mean learning to fight, as some of us are unable to do that.

Commonsense methods

Let’s start with some of the easier, commonsense ways to protect yourself. When you’re at home, always keep your doors and windows locked.

Never open your door for a stranger no matter what they say. It could be a scam. Ask to see an ID through a peephole if they say they’re with a local utility. Form or join a neighborhood watch group.

When you’re out and about, always be alert and aware of what’s going on around you.

Park in well-lit areas and have your keys in your hand as you approach your vehicle. Don’t load yourself down with packages.

Get physically fit

Many seniors have stopped exercising. That’s a shame because exercise is good for your health, even if you are never a crime victim.

Getting into better physical shape should be one of our chief goals as seniors. One way to do that is to sign up for a self-defense class at a local YMCA or YWCA.

Seniors in good physical health and in good shape for their age are better able to fend off attacks or get away from trouble.

Eat healthy, take vitamins, take frequent walks and engage in low-impact strength training. All these things could help you avoid becoming a crime victim.

Get armed

Arming yourself will mean different things to different people. If you’re trained in how to use a gun and it’s legal to carry it, that might be your choice.

Others would prefer a non-lethal means of self-defense. Such as pepper spray or mace.

Regardless of what you use as a self-defense weapon, the key is to be able to draw it quickly and know how to use it.

Sometimes criminals are able to disarm a senior quickly, which means they’re now holding your best chance for survival. 

Get smart

If you just thought of Agents 86 and 99 when you read the subhead above, you watched the same TV show I used to watch.

Maxwell Smart might not have been the sharpest tool in the shed. But you can handle the chaos around you by taking control of your situation.

One way to do that is by using your wits. For example, carry a fake wallet to give to a robber. It could contain a few singles and a few fake credit cards.

Be ready to use anything in your hands as a weapon, whether it’s a cane or a set of keys. At home, use auto-timed lights. Some towns have a Watch Your Car program that allows police officers to pull your car over during certain night hours.

Sound your siren alarm

Nobody knows how bad the current global pandemic will get in America. There could come a time when those who have prepared will be targets of those who haven’t.

Many seniors say their fear of crime makes them feel lonely and isolated. Being able to defend ourselves, our belongings and our property may end up saving our lives.

Unfortunately, you could find yourself in a situation where it’s impossible to provide your own physical self-defense.

The best response at that time might be an extremely loud call for help. One that will be heard by all around you and could scare off an attacker.

See our top recommendation in self-defense tools, right here.

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