According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, seniors are less likely to be victims of assault and robbery than individuals in their early twenties and teens. In spite of this, it's always a good idea to prepare yourself by learning how to protect yourself in compromising situations. Self-defense for seniors is less about learning how to fight and more about sharpening your awareness skills. Consider some of the ways you can protect yourself when you leave The Gardens assisted living community to explore the surrounding area.
Develop the habit of scanning your surroundings to locate potential threats and understand how to avoid them. For example, stick to well-lit areas and populated areas at night, and even keep a flashlight with you and a whistle on a key chain to draw attention to yourself in the event of an emergency. Look for security or law enforcement should you ever feel unsafe in your environment.
Look confident by standing as straight as possible, holding your shoulders back and making brief eye contact with those around you. If possible, walk at the same pace as others on the same path as you. Keep valuables out of sight and avoid wearing expensive jewelry if you know you will be walking out in public alone. If you carry a purse, keep it close to your body and don't let it hang down too far. You might even want to conceal your purse inside your jacket or coat to make you less vulnerable to an attack. Looking like you are vulnerable can make you a target, so act like you know where you are going and hold your head high.
The Gardens in Springfield, MO, offers many different fitness classes to help you get stronger and more in shape. And if you're able, you might consider signing up for a martial arts class in the community to help improve your balance and strength. Martial arts classes also focus on speed over power and use mental strategies that can be used by individuals of all ages.
Small handheld alarms are an excellent defense against attackers. Most of these personal protection devices can be activated at the push of a button. Not only will it sound an alarm, but many of them also call the police directly, which can be useful in the event of an attack.
At The Gardens assisted living community, we offer safe and well-manicured grounds that are easy to navigate. You can also sign up for scheduled group activities to reduce your time spent alone when you venture off the grounds. The better aware of what's going on around you and the better prepared you are, the less likely you are to be a target.