Perhaps you are now one our nation’s senior citizens. You may live with your spouse or perhaps you live alone.
Whatever the case may be you’re not quite as young as you once were. You may be healthy; you may have a few medical problems. You may think that at your age you do not need any safety tips, because after all, you had to get to where you are today somehow or other, right?
Well while it is true that you have managed to get to where you are today, it is also true that you do need to know how to protect yourself, not only from people who would like to take your money but also from people who would do you harm.
You may know not to give out your personal financial information, but have you remembered to not tell strangers that you are going out, or that you are home alone?
What do you do or not do that might tip someone off that you are home alone, or that you may be gone for a few days?
Well you might say that when you leave for a few days you have the mail held at the post office. We have all heard that this is a good thing to do. But is it really? Also having our daily paper held, is that really such a good idea?
I would say no that none of this is a good idea, for this reason, if someone is watching to see when you are home or when you are gone, one of the first things that they will notice is the change in the delivery of your paper or mail.
Might I suggest that instead of having your mail held, you have someone stop by and pick it up for you? Or better yet don’t have mail or packages of any kind delivered to your house at any time. Instead keep a post office box. This way it is never unusual for you to not have mail delivered at your house.
While this may be less convenient for you in some ways, It can also be an excuse for you to get out of the house, or if you are not able to get out, maybe you could have a friend or family member bring your mail to you from the post office, this way you have someone who is regularly able to check on you to see how you are doing.
Another suggestion I have for you is to always let someone know where you are going and when you expect to be back.
The reason why, if you are in the habit of this, is if for some reason you are not in contact with someone within a reasonable period of time then someone knows to report that you are missing.
Now I know that you are not a child and may be thinking that it is silly for you to check in with someone to let them know where you are, where you are going and when you will be back
Well everyday it seems you hear about someone being robbed or harmed in some way by someone else. You also hear a lot on the news about people who wander away from home, usually older people or younger children.
Children do this because they do not know better, older adults do this either because of illness, or memory problems. (In reality anyone at any age can turn up missing, but these two groups are the most vulnerable).
By telling someone where you are going, when you will be back, (approximate time doesn’t have to be exact), then someone knows to call the police if you are not back, so that you have a safety net.
By having a safety net, even if you do live alone you will be safer because you will have a support system in place.
Another thing that is helpful to everyone not just older adults is to be active in your community. Either by going to church or other religious service weekly, or going to a community activity. Many communities have senior citizen centers where people meet for fellowship; this can help keep you from feeling all alone during the day. This also gives you something to look forward to each day or week.
By being involved in your community more people will know you, and you will be able to have someone notice if you are not quite yourself, or if you turn up missing.
Time is something that is very important. Especially if someone of any age turns up missing.
If no one really knows you, and you are not involved in your community, you could very realistically fall inside your own home, and be out of reach of a phone or any communication device, and no one would ever know it. You could literally die before anyone knew that something was wrong.
On another thought, about seniors and safety, there is something that a lot of older women do that they really should not. (Many younger ones do this also). What this is to carry a large purse or handbag when out shopping, usually dangling from their shoulder this is very unsafe. Someone can take this dangling handbag causing physical injury to you along with stealing your personal property.
Likely any money or credit card you have will be gone. And you could be in the hospital recovering from such an injury.
So what could you do to be safer? Well number one leave your purse or handbag at home, or if you must bring this with you leave it inside your vehicle out of sight.
The safest thing that someone can do that will be shopping along is to have one credit card and their driver’s license together in a small folding case, (Like pocket size, just large enough for your license and one credit card), maybe a small calculator, pen and scratch paper. And a key chain with your car keys and house keys on this, preferably with a remote control for your car on your key chain, so that you do not even have to put your key into your car door when you go out to the car.
By using one credit card, you will not have any cash on you to get lost or misplaced, or have to write any checks. A small calculator , scratch paper, and pen can help you keep track of what you are spending. Then you have to have your license to drive and I believe to use your one credit card.
By using a credit card instead of a check you eliminate having to pull out your checkbook, which may be in your purse or handbag. (Save your checkbook for use at home where you can fill out any checks while sitting down in a relaxed atmosphere).
Another thing while we are talking about shopping, if possible go with a friend so that you are not going a lone, you will have a better day, and reduce the possibility of being a target. Because most criminals do not want to attack two or more people together, a single person by themselves is always a better target.
You may be older, or you may just be middle age living alone, but by using common sense and letting your friends and family know what you are planning at least a few times a week, you will increase the chances of someone noticing if something is not right. Which can help you to get needed help if something is wrong.
Also by being involved in your community you may be the one that can help someone else when things are not right for them.
You do not have to sit all alone in your house and grow old. You can get out and enjoy your life. Even if you are not able to get out physically you can call people at set times during the day to check on them. Which can help keep boredom away, and you may be the one to brighten someone’s day by calling just to chat once in a while.
So stay involved, and communicate with your friends and family, do not stay all by yourself all the time. When you do that you may be the reason that no one knows when you need help.
People are not mind readers, and we need each other. So stay safe, and be smart know what is going on in your community. And don’t carry large amounts of cash or checks, and only use one credit card when you are and about shopping.
And go shopping with a friend.