Self Defense: What Retirees Need to Know

Retirement and moving to a retirement community like Sherwood Oaks means leaving behind the worry of maintaining your busy career as well as maintaining an oversized house. But retirement can also bring a lot of new worries into your life.

You may worry about money and how you will pay for your living expenses now that you no longer have a steady stream of income. You may worry about what to do with your free time. You may worry that retirement living may lead you to have a more sedentary lifestyle. And, more than likely, you will be worried about your personal safety.

Violence against senior citizens is an unfortunate reality. Strength and endurance make seniors a target of violent crime, including assault and battery. Luckily, Sherwood Oaks is a safe and secure community. But you can rid yourself from some of the fear that comes with grocery shopping at night or eating at a restaurant in a new part of town with one thing: Self-defense.


Take a Public Self-Defense Class

Self-defense classes are a great way to get a workout while taking control of the safety of you and your family. You might not think that retirement is a good age to start looking into self defense, but it’s becoming a trend in that age bracket. While pricing and class content vary by where you go, there are plenty of options available to you in and around Pittsburgh. Here are a few places to check out:


Carry a “Weapon”

Pepper spray is extremely convenient to carry around, and an inexpensive investment in your safety. Most can clip to your keyring and come with practice canisters so that you can get a feel for what spraying the pepper spray will feel like before and if you ever need to use it.

You may actually already be carrying a weapon and not know it! “Cane-Fu,” a self defense class that teaches seniors how to use their regular old canes to protect themselves in a scuffle. Beyond that, they also learn how to make their canes more effective in a fight by choosing the right materials.

A weapon that just about everyone has if they are out in public? Keys. Place your keys so that they are sticking out between your pointer and middle fingers so that if you get into a dangerous situation, you won’t have to shuffle around looking for something to defend yourself with.


Don’t Put Yourself in a Bad Situation

Try not to walk alone at night or in areas that you are unfamiliar or uncomfortable with, and if you need to park somewhere, make sure it is well lit. It’s not silly at all to ask a friend or your son or daughter to accompany you to the store if you have to run out at night. Make sure that your hands aren’t completely occupied with groceries so that you have a hand free to defend yourself if something would happen.

It’s good practice to know whether or not your cell phone has an easy way to access 911. Some have a designated button, while others reduce the amount of steps you need to take in order to dial out in an emergency. For instance, on an iPhone, you can slide to unlock your screen and then immediately click on “Emergency” to activate a keyboard to dial 911 on.

We are always looking out for the safety of our residents. If you ever have a concern about you or your spouse’s personal safety, please make us aware.