Crimes Against Senior Citizens are Rising

Don’t let aging get you down.  It’s too hard to get back up! – Maxine

Crimes against senior citizens are rising and they’re rising because the elder population is rising. In additional to fraud, seniors are more vulnerable to purse snatching and mugging. According to the Dept. of Justice, persons age 65 and older face male offenders about 79 percent of the time, usually strangers over the age of 30.

These crimes against elders can be prevented by being careful and alert. Learning how to avoid becoming a victim during your twilight years isn’t terribly different from crime avoidance at any age. Nonetheless, below are some tips and techniques with emphasis on the senior citizen community.

While you are away from home

  • If you must carry a pocketbook, hold it close to your body; with a firm grasp on the handle or strap. Don’t slip a purse strap around your neck –- an attacker could use the strap to harm you.
  • Before leaving your car or a shop, always pause to observe your surroundings closely, especially if the area is unfamiliar, so you know where to go for safety.
  • Carry your wallet in an inside jacket pocket or front pocket – never in your back pocket. Carry as little cash and credit cards as possible. Hold only what you’re prepared to lose.
  • Carry change for emergency telephone and transportation use, even if you have a cell phone. Be prepared should the battery go dead or you become separated from your phone.
  • Try to sit near the driver when using the bus or other public transportation.
  • Don’t overburden yourself with packages and groceries that obstruct your view and make it hard to react. Use a cart, or make another trip.
  • Have your car or house key in hand as you approach your vehicle or home.
  • Carry a shriek alarm, whistle or flashlight on your keychain.
  • When you drive, keep doors locked and windows up. Park in well-lit, populated areas. If you have car trouble, be cautious of strangers who offer help. Stay in your car and if you don’t have a phone, ask them to call a service truck or the police.
  • If a friend or a taxi takes you home, ask the driver to wait until you are safely inside.
  • Walk with purpose. Don’t look at the ground; look around you.
  • Trust your instincts. If you feel uncomfortable in a place or situation, leave.

In an upcoming article, I’ll post tips on what you can do if you are attacked. Be proactive; it’s easier to avoid than need to defend. Remember that strength to protect oneself comes from an awareness of surroundings, a fearless presence, and an understanding of your capabilities.

Stay safe!

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