Personal Safety For Seniors

Personal Safety For Seniors


  • Trust your INSTINCTS. You know when something just does not’t seem right.
  • Avoid Dangerous situations. Walking alone at night, parking your car in dark parking lots. Use your BEST JUDGMENT.
  • Work with the Police and the Courts in preventing and solving crimes.

Protect Yourself at Home

  • Use EXTERIOR LIGHTING at night. Turn it on at dusk and off at dawn.
  • Consider upgrading locks on exterior doors such as dead bolts.
  • When you are in your back yard, lock the front door.
  • 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 a lot of harassing telephone calls.
  • FREE GIFTS are not free when you have to pay for them. Call the Kansas Attorney General’s office at 1-800-432-2310. Check with the better business bureau in KCMO at 421-7800, National Fraud Information Center at 1-800-876-7060, National Consumer Helpline at 1-800-664-4435.


  • Install a PEEPHOLE
  • Don’t open the door for unexpected repair people.
  • ALWAYS ask for COMPANY ID and call the company telephone number for verification.


  • 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 GO INTO YOUR APARTMENT IF YOU SUSPECT SOMEONE IS INSIDE. Go to a neighbor’s apartment and call the police.

Protect Yourself 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.
  • Personal Alarms - show
  • Walk with SOMEONE.
  • WALK WITH CONFIDENCE - hold your head up and make EYE CONTACT (you don’t have to “stare someone down”, just let the person know they have been seen).
  • Go to a PUBLIC PLACE to ask directions.
  • CHANGE DIRECTIONS (if you are being followed, this is a certain way to find out)
  • EYE CONTACT. Look at the person. It lets them know you are aware of them and you won’t be taken by surprise.

Protect Yourself 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

Car Trouble

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


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

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

Responding to 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.
  • 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.

Should I carry a weapon?
It is best NOT TO 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.


  • 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.

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