The common-sense rules for staying safe that all people should follow are extremely important for the elderly. They are at a distinct disadvantage because of their age and lack of strength. Because of this, there are special precautions they should take that go above and beyond the usual things that a more youthful person worries about. 

A good general rule of thumb is to not make anything easier for a potential criminal. This includes not having a purse dangling effortlessly from your hand or shoulder, or counting money in plain sight. If possible, don’t carry any baggage at all, just use inner pockets to carry only what you need for your errands. 

When planning a walk, always know ahead of time the exact route you plan to take, as well as a backup route in case it’s blocked. You should always try walking with at least one other companion. In addition, do not let yourself get distracted while you walk, it’s important to take in all of your surroundings and stay alert at all times. Observe the laws of common-sense that say walk in well-lit areas and away from alleyways, and don’t give the appearance of an easy target, walk with confidence. Many people have pocket mace that easily fits on a key chain, while some people hold the keys themselves between their knuckles to use in case of self-defense. 

Another way to not be caught off-guard is by being prepared. You have the advantage of knowing your destination. Once you start to approach your car or home, have your keys ready so you can make the transition inside quick and effortless. Once inside your car or home, lock your doors immediately. Again, there is no reason to make things any easier for the criminal. This includes while driving. Put any purses or bags on the floor instead of next to you on the passenger seat. It will make it much more difficult for a criminal to grab anything. 

Car safety is something that should never be underestimated. The best way to not get accosted by a potential hitchhiker is to never pick one up. Likewise, if you are experiencing car trouble, pull over and put your emergency blinkers on. Then call for help and wait for it to arrive.