Seniors need to be prepared with self defense products and techniques.  Often, olden women and men may be viewed as vulnerable and may be easy targets for attackers, who may mistake them for being frail or defenseless.  Imagine their surprise when the senior citizen effectively fights back and prevents or stops the attack!  Obviously, the ideal situation is that seniors will not be walking alone or find themselves in potentially dangerous situations, but there will inevitably be times when it does occur.  Here are five tips to help seniors better protect themselves:

  1. Think about what you have with you, and use whatever you have handy.  For example, seniors who use canes can indeed use them as a weapon, if necessary.  Swing that cane with all of your might, and it can definitely cause some pain to your attacker.  It might be just enough of a deterrent to allow you to escape or call for help.  If nothing else, the element of surprise can work to your advantage.
  2. If you don’t use a cane, keep your car keys handy.  When positioned between the fingers, keys can make a very effective weapon that could scratch or poke an assailant.  Know the most effective places to aim for, such as the eyes, neck or groin.
  3. Carry pepper spray with you.  Pepper spray, or oleoresin capsicum, is a potent deterrent to any attack.  It comes in small, hand held canisters that can be easily taken along wherever you go in your pocket or handbag.  One spray to the face of an assailant and that bad guy will be down for the count.  They will experience significant burning of the eyes, skin and mucous membranes, and the effects can last for up to 45 minutes.  Some pepper spray formulas even contain UV dyes, so if the attacker attempts to wash it off, police will still be able to detect the presence of the pepper spray in the event that the person is apprehended.
  4. Use a stun gun.  Stun guns are non-lethal weapons that produce a high voltage shock when activated.  Today’s models come in small, hand held versions and often resemble cell phones, cameras, lipstick holders, rings or other everyday items.  This means it can be carried in plain sight, or in a very easy to reach location, and used to temporarily disable any attacker, allowing you to make a getaway.
  5. Make a loud noise with a personal alarm.  Personal alarms, or electronic whistles, can be very useful for seniors (or anyone) who finds themselves alone.  At the first sign of being approached, you can sound the shrill alarm, alerting anyone within earshot that there is a problem.  Often this is enough to scare away any would-be attacker and prevent problems from occurring.

The best self defense is being prepared.  Young or old, it is beneficial to learn about self defense and personal protection.  Taking self defense classes and researching and purchasing inexpensive but effective self defense products like pepper spray, stun guns or personal alarms can help you keep yourself safer under any conditions.