Personal Safety as we Age -Tips to Staying Safe

By Shirley Price
By Shirley Price

Every day we face danger of one kind or another. There are many things that most of us do automatically to keep ourselves and others safe. We use our sense of safety when we drive, cross the street, use the stairs, using electrical appliance or tools. We pay attention to what we are doing and want to do it safely.

Today we are face with added dangers that were rare in the time of our parents. The most dangerous times are when we have a lot on our minds and get distracted.  Times when we are most vulnerable to danger is when we are not paying attention to what we are doing and what’s going on around us.

Be observant of your surroundings

It is important to be aware of your surroundings, if you sense that something’s wrong, pay close attention and don’t take risks. Trust your gut.  Remember that old saying “I have a gut feeling”…there’s truth to it. We do need to trust our intuition.

Don’t go out in unsafe areas or walk alone late at night. Notice who’s around you and don’t trust strangers. If you are walking by yourself, look over your shoulder often, if you think someone is following you use your cell phone or go into the first public place. Let them know that you are aware of their presence. The chances are if someone has less than good motives they would prefer to find someone that is totally unaware of their presence so that they can get close without them knowing. This could easily occur when people are distracted by talking or texting on the phone or have headsets on listening to music or whatever.

Change your routes occasionally

Often seasoned criminals will make a point of becoming familiar with their victims habits before thinking of breaking into a home, business or car.  Knowing this information would be very beneficial for them to carry out their plan without being caught. If you have regular habits change your routes and schedules from time to time if possible.

Keep your car keys handy

Especially if it’s dark when you are going out to your car, have your keys already in your hand before you leave.  Don’t be searching around for keys out in the dark.  Before entering your car, look around and inside to be sure there is nothing suspicious.

Never park your car in dark areas

Park your car someplace where it is well lit. If possible park your car near buildings or near cameras or where there is a lot of activity. Don’t go to the quiet areas to park in the shopping malls.
Always let someone know where you are going

Especially when you go out unexpectedly or planning a longer than normal trip, it would be wise to tell a friend, family member, or co worker where you are going when you expect to return and who will accompany you. Particularly when driving at night keep your car doors locked for your own safety.

Never disclose any personal information to strangers

We are constantly hearing about identity theft and what a huge problem it’s become. We are all threatened by it no matter how careful we may be the theft happens without us even being aware. Make sure you don’t make it any easier for the thieves by handing over your personal information. Never give it out to anyone over the phone no matter who they say they are.

Keep valuables out of site.

Do not wear expensive accessories unless there is an occasion to do so and then be careful, you don’t want to draw attention to yourself by the wrong people. Take extra precautions in this situation. You don’t want to be a target for thieves.

When driving do not speed and drive with care

Be focused and attentive when you are driving. Be aware of the road signs. Don’t drive when you are sleepy.  Do not drive at night if you think you cannot see the roads clearly; you can ask a friend or family member to drive for you if it is really important. If you need glasses to drive be sure to wear them.
Cross walks are where many accidents occur so be extra careful and watch out for crossing signs someone may be crossing the street. Be alert it can be particularly difficult to see on a dark wet night.

When the time comes that you become an unsafe driver as difficult as it may be, be ready to give up your vehicle for your own safety and the safety of everyone else.

Maintain Your Vehicle

Keep your car in reliable order if you are unable to do it yourself get someone to check your car for you. Make sure that the gas, oil and water are all topped up also windshield washer fluid.  Check tires regularly. You don’t want to end up stuck in the middle of nowhere. Do not pick up hitch hikers or stop for other strangers on the road.

Always lock your doors at home

Whether you are at home or leaving your house, you need to lock your doors. Even if you know you won’t be long don’t take unnecessary chances. Don’t keep all your money in one place. Especially when traveling-Spread out your possessions.  Separate your money from your cards or you can place an amount of money in your pocket, some inside your bag, and some in your wallet.
If someone demands your wallet, throw the wallet in one direction and run in a different direction.

Do your best to keep yourself safe at all times. When you are aware of personal safety you can decrease the risk of threats and danger.
Keep your cell phone battery charged and don’t be afraid to use it if you think you will need help.

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