The rising age of a baby-boom generation and permanently increasing life expectancy ensure that the average age in Germany is rising rapidly. As a result, there are more and more seniors, who are known to be easy targets for physical violence. We would like to present to you the most important figures and methods of prevention as well as self-defense for seniors.
Figures of the police crime statistics
Here we see a trend that contradicts the common belief that seniors are more often victims of violent acts such as theft than our young fellow citizens. In fact, of 213,576 recorded violent crimes, only 12,289 involved victims who were at least 60 years old – according to police crime statistics for 2015. This accounts for about 5.8%.
While that sounds quite low, it does mean that one in every 17 acts of violence is still committed against a retiree. Although our seniors live relatively safe lives, this danger cannot be completely ignored, as the number has increased by 23.6% in percentage terms in a ten-year comparison, according to Wolfgang Spies, the deputy state chairman of NRW of the police union (GdP).
Typical dangerous situations
Many senior citizens have saved up considerable sums of money in their lifetime and it is precisely these that the perpetrators usually target. Forced burglary when no one is at home is still the rarer case here.
- Trick scams: Most people try to cheat seniors out of their savings by pretending false facts. The “grandchild trick” is widespread, as is the call as a supposed bank employee, whereby account data is obtained or assets are scouted. Later, the attack takes place in or in front of the victim’s own home.
- Theft: Another dangerous situation is withdrawing money from the bank. The perpetrators try to strike and steal freshly withdrawn money either directly after the visit to the bank or on the way home.
- Fraud/robbery: Visiting the front door under a false pretext is not always possible without effort, but it poses a great danger. Here, the perpetrator tries to convince the senior that he or she needs to get into the home, or simply rushes in as soon as the door opens.
Prevention – self-protection for seniors
Although the following tips are primarily aimed at seniors, they naturally apply to all age groups.
- There is a very valuable protection against telephone fraud or grandchild trickery: do not give out any information on the telephone and inculcate this in your grandmothers and grandfathers who do not have the Internet and cannot get this information themselves. If you want something, write a letter. At least grandma and grandpa know this from the past.
- First and foremost, it is recommended against any robberies, of course, to avoid dangerous situations and not to be alone with a lot of cash or valuables on the road. Furthermore, the assets should not be stored in one place on the bookshelf or even in the wallet, but should be distributed. A part at home, a part on the account, a part in securities. This ensures that the perpetrator does not get everything in one go.
- If possible, the trip to the bank should be made in the company of a trusted person. If this is not possible, you should refrain from putting on expensive chains, bracelets, or watches. These are signs that signal to thieves that something is up for grabs. It is also not advisable to withdraw several 1000€ so that the detour to the bank does not have to be made so often.
- Against the unwanted house, visits help either a door peephole, so that the door can remain completely closed until you see the visitor or security against forced opening. The well-known door chain works in principle, but may not withstand a powerful intruder. For a little more money, you can buy newer, even stronger solutions.
Self-defense course for seniors
Does it make sense to teach the basics of self-defense to seniors? We can’t give you a general answer to this question. It depends on the physical condition of the seniors. A certain amount of physical strength should already be present since any form of physical resistance requires effort. But there is also the psychological factor and it brings fitness, in our opinion sufficient arguments for a clear yes! However, not every martial art is suitable.
Find out in our martial arts comparison, which martial arts are suitable for seniors!
The courses show seniors a few ways how they can defend themselves with little use of force. As long as you are still able to move reasonably and take care of yourself, these courses can be very helpful. You have to distinguish between a 65-year-old former bank employee and an 85-year-old former construction worker with Parkinson’s disease. The bank employee could possibly still join a martial arts club and the construction worker might already have a care level. So age and condition already play a key role.
Self-protection for seniors with weapons
Especially when one’s own body is weakening, many people tend to want to restore their defensibility with aids. Self-defense weapons can certainly be a help here, but they also represent a danger in the legal sense, just as they do for self-protection. Especially in case of physical inferiority, the danger increases to be attacked with the weapon by disarming oneself. More about the different weapons and the legal situation of their use can be found here.
Read our big self-defense weapons comparison, for more info
Conclusion: Stay Defensive!
The most important thing to say first: everyone should defend themselves if they find themselves in an inappropriate situation, and they can! Of course, it takes a little preparation so that in an emergency situation you don’t go into shock and just let everything wash over you… And it’s also not always advisable to risk the confrontation rather than get robbed, but remain physically unharmed – it depends on the situation. However, self-defense is the last option in some situations, and if it must be used, it should be done effectively.
Read also our self-defense tips
Of course, physical fitness limits, yet basic knowledge of martial art is not wrong. These, together with a self-defense weapon, can provide an effective defense.
Update: 2023-05-28 / Affiliate Links / Bilder von der Amazon Product Advertising API