Senior Self Defense: The Best Techniques


Unfortunately, senior citizens are huge targets for property and theft crimes. Seniors should constantly be on the lookout for scammers and burglars. Here’s how to prevent and prepare seniors should the occasion for self-defense arise:

  • Always be conscious of the people around you. Be alert and aware. Scammers and burglars are drawn to seniors who seem to be easily puzzled or confused in their surroundings.
  • If you’re going out, try to go out during the daytime when crime is known to be lower. If possible, find a friend or relative to accompany you.
  • Look in to carrying a self-defense weapon like pepper spray or a personal alarm. Always carry it with you and know how to use it properly. Remember to replace pepper spray on an annual basis.
  • If you are attacked, be sure to make as much noise as you possibly can. The attacker won’t like you drawing attention to them and will likely retreat.

If you don’t have a self-defense weapon like pepper spray, that’s okay. There are other ways to fend off an attacker:

  • If you use a cane to walk, knowing how to use it during an attack could benefit you greatly. Swinging and hitting the attacker behind the knees, groin, or ribs are crucial points that should disable the predator enough for you to get away, call for help, or force he attacker to retreat.
  • Aside from your cane, you can also use your arms and hands. First and foremost, when using your body to fend off an attacker, the goal is to hurt them and not yourself.  By using your arms and elbows, focusing on penetrating the attacker in the throat, face, chest and stomach.  Use as much force as you can when striking them and don’t be afraid to hurt them. Remember, they weren’t afraid to attempt to hurt you or put you at risk.

There are several other techniques for seniors to learn when it comes to self-defense. You can check out more tips here, or to learn more about self-defense techniques, check out our “Self-Defense with a Cane Class” that is taught in our Franciscan Center on-campus.