Unfortunately, the sad reality is that criminals target seniors seen as weak, easy prey. A U.S. Department of Justice report noted that between 2003 and 2013, 93 percent of all crimes against people over age 65 were property crimes such as burglary and theft. Everyone deserves to feel secure either out or in their own home. Your age should not prevent you from defending yourself. If you are immobile, there are other safety measures such as a personal alarm. It is never too late to learn self-defense. There are different tactics and classes you can take to stop a stranger from robbing or harming you.
What To Do In An Altercation
If an attacker is determined to take your wallet or purse, let them take it. Nothing in your wallet or purse is worth
more than your life. You can always cancel your credit and bank cards. It is better than exacerbating the situation, especially if the attacker has a knife or firearm. Your goal should be to remove yourself to safety, and then get help. However, if the altercation turns physical, then there are some defense tactics you can use:
- Make Noise– Scream, shout, or use a personal alarm to draw attention for help. Most of the time your attacker will be intimidated and run away.
- Use Pepper Spray– One spray to the face of the attacker and they can be incapacitated. The spray will inhibit breathing, as well as burning the eyes of the attacker. Make sure to aim at the attacker’s face and maintain distance so you are not also affected.
- Use a Stun Gun– Stun guns have a high-voltage charge that will immobilize your attacker. Many models look like cell phones, rings, cameras, and other everyday items. If you are interested in carrying one, make sure it is legal within your state before purchasing.
- Aim For Vulnerable Areas– When all else fails, and you do not have a weapon, then use your hands and aim for vulnerable areas. No matter how much bigger your attacker is, he or she still has weak areas. If your attacker is close, then focus on their eyes. Eyes are very sensitive and using force on your attacker’s can end the fight early. Jab their eyes quickly and repeatedly. If it is a man, then you can target their throat and groin as well. If the attacker is at a distance from you, then focus on their knees. Kick an attacker’s knees to throw them off balance, allowing you to escape.
There are classes you can take that teach you how to use your cane for self-defense. Cane Fu has become popular lately, and it focuses on transforming your walking cane into a weapon. In these classes, you are taught to stand tall and not look like a victim. You learn basic strikes and blocks, as well as how to defend against knife attacks, punches, and how to use your cane like a sword. Any kind of cane will work. Ask family and friends if there are any classes you can take around the area, or do some research of your own.
There are classes that are offered in your local YMCA. Seniors have the option to contact their local police department and see if they offer self-defense classes for older adults. Martial arts and Tai Chi are empowering classes for seniors to learn how to defend themselves. Martial arts will boost a senior’s coordination, range of motion, and stamina. Tai Chi is great entry-level training because of the slow, gentle movements that are low impact. No matter what your age, or mobility, these classes will allow you to reach your maximum potential within your capabilities.
Criminals choose to break into many older adults’ homes to rob because they view them as easy, high-value prey. Because of this, it is especially important that your house is secured. There are different home security options available. You can choose a security system monitoring company, or install one yourself. Some companies offer personal alerts with a button you can press if you are in danger, or need the police.
Taking self-defense classes, and making sure you are protected does not mean you are old and feeble. In fact, it is quite the opposite. You are strengthening yourself, and becoming prepared for anything that comes your way. Be prepared, because your life may depend on it.