Personal Safety For Seniors

 

Protection Plan

  • Trust your instincts. You know when something does not appear right.
  • Use your best judgment to avoid dangerous situations such as walking alone at night or parking in dark lots. 
  • Work with police and the courts to prevent and solve crimes.

Protection At Home

  • Use exterior lighting at night. Turn lights on at dusk and off at dawn.
  • Use the locks you have.
  • Consider upgrading locks, such as dead bolts, on exterior doors.
  • Lock your front door when you are in your back yard.

Protection Against Unwanted Calls

  • Don’t give out personal information to unknown callers.
  • Consider screening your telephone calls with an answering machine.
  • Call the police and the telephone company if you are receiving harassing calls.
  • Don't pay for "free gifts". Call the following to report incidents when callers ask you to pay.
    • 1-800-432-2310 Kansas Attorney General
    • 1-800-876-7060 National Fraud Information Center
    • 1-800-664-4435 National Consumer Helpline
    •     816-421-7800 Better Business Bureau of Greater Kansas City

Protection Against Strangers

  • Install a peephole.
  • Don’t open the door for unexpected repair people.
  • Always ask for a company ID and call the company for verification.

Protection In Elevators

  • If you live in a building with an elevator always try to get on with a group.
  • Stand away from the door.
  • Stand near the control panel to be able to hit the alarm button or floor buttons.
  • Never enter your residence if you suspect a stranger is inside. Go to a neighbor’s residence and call the police.

Protection On The Street

  • Dress appropriately
  • Avoid wearing flashy jewelry.
  • Dress so you can walk or run easily to avoid an attack.
  • Carry only what you need
  • Think about carrying a wallet in a pocket instead of a purse. How about a “fanny pack”?
  • Carry your purse close to your body.
  • Show your personal Alarm.
  • Walk with someone.
  • Stay alert.
  • Walk with confidence.  Hold your head up and make eye contact to let someone know you are aware of them and you won't be taken by surprise.
  • Go to a public place to ask directions.
  • Change directions.  If you are being followed, this is a certain way to find out.

Protection While Traveling

  • Parking your car
  • Always lock your car when you park it.
  • Park in a well lit area.
  • Avoid isolated areas, parks and parking lots.
  • Look around your car as you approach it.
  • Look inside the car BEFORE you get in.
  • If someone is standing close to your car, turn around and go back inside or look behind you to see if they have left.
  • Keep your doors and windows locked while driving, especially at stoplights. You don’t want someone to get into your car while waiting in traffic.
  • Keep valuables out of sight in the trunk, never on a seat. Mount CBs, Cellular Phones, Tape decks out of sight, if possible.
  • Cellular Telephones are good to have to use in an emergency

Protection With Car Trouble

  • Raise the hood and turn on emergency flashers.
  • Stay in the car.
  • Ask anyone who stops to call the police or the nearest service station.

Protection In A Hotel/Motel

  • Tell the desk clerk not to give out your room number.
  • Keep your key with you.
  • Double lock the door when you are inside your room.
  • Leave valuables in the hotel safe.

Sometimes no matter how we protect ourselves, we may become a victim.

Protection During An Attack

  • Evaluate the situation.
  • Look around for your means of escape.
  • What state of mind is your attacker in?
  • Stay Alert.  Listen and observe to provide your best decision.
  • Decide how you want to respond.
  • Know that every situation is different.
  • Be realistic about your ability to protect yourself.
  • Resisting could give you an opportunity to escape but could also expose you to greater harm.
  • Give up your valuables. They can be replaced; you cannot be replaced.
  • your goal is survival.

Should I carry a weapon?
It is best  not to carry a weapon unless you have been thoroughly trained.

Should I learn self defense?
It is a good idea but don’t overestimate your abilities. Some methods take years of training.

Summary

  • Stay alert.
  • Avoid dangerous situations.
  • Take precautions at home, on the street, or in the car.
  • Work with the police to prevent and solve crimes.
  •  Don't take chances.

Courtesy of the Olathe, Kansas, Police Department (913) 971-7500