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Self-defense tips for the elderly

When people hear stories about elder abuse in Florida, they often think of the victims as helpless and unable to defend themselves. Even though this may be truer in some situations than others, seniors can learn to defend themselves from perpetrators of abuse.

Families can encourage their aging loved ones to learn about and practice self-defense strategies to maintain better control of their safety.

Stay active and alert

Two of the biggest risk factors of elder abuse are lack of mobility and diminished cognitive awareness. Both of these ailments make the elderly a likely target for abuse. According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, National Institute on Aging, thousands of seniors suffer abuse each year at the hands of strangers, caregivers and even family.

Seniors that maintain their activity level and mental aptitude can respond proactively and confidently to potentially harmful situations. Whether out running errands or socializing with other residents at an assisted living facility, the elderly should be aware of their surroundings and the people around them. They should stay in well-lit areas with other people around. They should ask a trusted friend or family member for accompaniment if they need to go somewhere they feel uncomfortable visiting alone.

Sound the alarm

Personal alarms are a fantastic way for seniors to protect themselves against abuse or compromising situations. A personal alarm can be as simple as a whistle or a more expensive beeper. Seniors can practice sounding their alarms so they feel prepared to use their devices if needed. According to Ammo.com, elderly people under attack can also yell loudly and wave or bang their cane to get the attention of other people around them. Seniors that understand basic self-defense strategies may more confidently and effectively withstand an attack.

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