Whether you are looking for personal safety tips as an experienced adult or whether you are looking for tips to share with your aging family or friends, we at Damsel care about the safety of all aging adults and want to supply some tips just for them about how to stay safe in the ever increasingly dangerous world. 

Is it really that dangerous for older people? 

  • 1 in 6 people who are 60 years and older experience some form of abuse in a community setting 
  • 14% of older adults experience physical abuse in an institutional setting 
  • A staggering 33% report psychological abuse in an institutional setting 
  • Overall, 16% report a prevalence of abuse in a community setting 

Despite these alarming statistics, you can help yourself be more prepared by following some preventative steps below. 

When You are at Home: 

  • Keep doors locked and shut all windows that are not in the room you are in 
    • Remember to lock all doors and windows at night! 
    • Try adding our Step Off Alarm to your doors or windows for extra protection
  • Never open the door for strangers 
    • If you did not request a service, or cannot remember, call the agency and verify the call for service 
  • Protect valuables 
    • Invest in a safe and keep the passcode in a secure area or keep valuables in a bank’s Safe Box 
  • Beware of phone scams 
    • AI technology can now mimic the voices of loved ones. Keep an eye out for our future blog post on how to best avoid getting scammed by AI
    • Never give out personal information over the phone, such as your Social Security Number 
    • Trust Caller ID! Always create a contact for your closest friends and family members and never answer the phone if you are unsure of a caller
    • If you are expecting a call from a number you don’t know, make sure your voicemail box is emptied often in the event that you miss their call

When You are On the Go:

    • Make sure all windows and doors are secure before you leave the house 
    • Never leave a note on your door and never leave a key in popular hiding spots like under the doormat, under or in a flower pot, or on the ledge of a door 
    • Garage doors should stay closed and locked at night 
    • Street precautions
      • Always be alert
      • Carry the protection product that is right for you! We recommend the Striking Distance Stun Baton to help keep a distance between you and any potential attackers.
      • Never walk alone at night. Try to have a friend accompany you even during the day. There is safety in numbers! 
      • Make eye contact when walking and stand confidently. Even if you are unsure of where you are going, walk like you know exactly where you are going.
      • If you carry a purse, keep it securely tucked between your arm and body or consider a more secure bag style.
  • Bus Safety 
      • Avoid isolated bus stops if possible 
      • Stand away from the curb until the bus arrives 
      • Never fall asleep on the bus 
      • Keep your purse in front of you at all times 
      • If someone bothers you, move seats or tell the driver 
        • We recommend wearing the Blaire Necklace to help draw attention in the event of inappropriate conduct on the bus
  • Vehicle Security 
      • Contact local rep for Vehicle Safety presentation to learn more 
      • Keep windows rolled up 
      • Have the Road Trip accessible for any unexpected emergencies 
      • Keep your purse next to you not in the passenger seat
      • At night, only drive on familiar streets and in brightly lit places
      • Always lock your car doors 
      • Never sit in your car for long periods of time, especially if you are alone and distracted by your phone or with balancing your checkbook
  • Park Smart 
    • Use your garage if available or always park under lighted spots in a complex 
    • Never keep your garage door opener in plain sight
    • Park as close to the store as you can. If you must go at night, always park under a light 
    • Never leave a parking lot attendant or valet your house keys 
    • Don’t have a personalized key ring with your name and/or address 
    • Never leave big purchases in the cab of your car. Always place big ticket items or valuables in your locked trunk

What to do if you are the victim of a crime 

  • If your home is burglarized while you are out 
    • Don’t go in if you suspect someone is still in your home 
    • Call your local law enforcement agency and alert your neighbors if safe to do so
    • If it is determined it is safe for you to enter, don’t touch anything in your home. This could ruin any potential evidence 
  • If someone breaks into your home while you are there 
    • Don’t confront the burglar 
    • Grab your staged preferred protection and lock yourself in the farthest bathroom or room if you are unable to leave safely 
    • Call 9-1-1 as soon as you are out of danger 
    • Hint: Purchase a Hear Me Out so you can discreetly let others know you are in danger while also staying on the phone with 9-1-1
  • Let Law Enforcement Officials help
    • Report any crime, attempted crime, or suspicious activity
    • Give details, including height, weight, clothing, appearance, license plate number, and information about witnesses 
    • Press charges when criminals are caught for the good of others and your community. 
  • Remember you have the right to not feel threatened or intimidated into a decision. If you think someone close to you is trying to take advantage of you, call your local Adult Protective Services or tell someone at your bank.

    Adult Protective Services: 

    In the event that you need to contact your local Adult Protective Services, the number, website, and email vary by state so we recommend going online and searching for your local state number to have on hand. Additionally, you can visit the National Adult Protective Services Association (NAPSA) website here: https://www.napsa-now.org/ for more information. 

    Interested in learning more about Vehicle Safety or learning more about staging your home in a manner that works best for you? Reach out to a Damsel Safety Educator here today!