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Old 11-04-2018, 09:18 AM
 
Location: high plains
496 posts, read 705,228 times
Reputation: 455

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I appreciate the reponses and ideas - especially the attitude of defiance w/sensible caution.
I have thought through most of the likely scenarios involving self-defense weapons and tried some of them - pepper spray, golf club, air horn, cell phone, even knives. When I go out,
I try to go prepared, including being mentally prepared to defend myself tooth and nail against any real threats. If I were hiking in the wild, a firearm would be a natural precaution. It may become necessary even in an urban environment, constrained by all the legalities.

I am investigating various alternative environments to reduce the likelihood of threats - morning walks around the mall parking perimeter, college campus, tree-lined boulevards in wealthy country club neighborhoods. A nine-hole stroll around the golf course would not cost much, while dodging the youngsters whizzing around in golf carts. It is unlikely that our political officials will create "safe park" areas for us, banning dogs and fast bicycles.

I'm probably over-thinking it. I could just load the pockets with gadgets and go out anywhere I please. Deal with whatever comes.
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Old 11-04-2018, 09:25 AM
 
Location: equator
3,494 posts, read 1,548,932 times
Reputation: 8663
Loose dogs---especially with owners watching---are the bane of walkers everywhere. We carry a big pointed bamboo stick and brandish it at dogs that are running towards us. It does seem to work quite well. Others carry mace which would be wise too. If you aren't flashy with valuables, people are not a concern. We walk on the beach, so mostly everyone is mellow.

OP, can you get a walking buddy? Safety in numbers....

I am amazed at the seniors who surf alone here.
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Old 11-04-2018, 09:27 AM
 
698 posts, read 208,883 times
Reputation: 1338
Quote:
Originally Posted by highplainsrus View Post
Do you feel safe taking walks outside? Whether hiking, strolling through a park, or walking city streets, are you aware of the various possible dangers? Do you think about muggings, dangerous dogs, bad weather, accidental falls, or busy traffic?

As I approach my seventies, I think about these things more and more. I am trying to reason my way through them to sort out the most likely problems from the irrational concerns and setting up conditions to create safe activities in safe surroundings.

Example: I used to enjoy walking park trails in good weather to observe beautiful trees, flowers and other views in the fresh air. Lately, I have encountered many off-leash dogs and potentially hostile dog owners. I realize there are few safe ways to handle those events, since dogs and their owners have virtually the run of the outdoors with few real restraints. Now I feel forced into the stale surroundings of indoor mall walking or expensive indoor gyms and treadmills.

These and other health-related concerns could be the reason why it is easy for the elderly to become almost agoraphobic shut-ins. I am interested to see if others have considered these issues and found solutions.
If you like to walk why stop? Get a hiking pole. Those are great to give you stability on uneven grd, they help if you need to smack a loose dog( though telling it to “sit” with a very stern voice does wonders), carry a cellphone if that would help you feel safer, tell someone or leave a note where you are going and the time you left, join a walking club etc.
Im 70 and I ride my horse, lots of time alone. No big deal. I have friends that are 80 and still ride in the woods and on the trails. You cant live your life worrying about what could, might, happen. Get out there and enjoy yourself. Alot of falls and accidents occur in the bathtub. Do you drive? Alot more dangerous then taking a walk. You are worrying too much. Be aware of your surroundings and plan.
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Old 11-04-2018, 09:32 AM
 
Location: Idaho
1,457 posts, read 1,159,257 times
Reputation: 5540
Quote:
Originally Posted by highplainsrus View Post
Do you feel safe taking walks outside? Whether hiking, strolling through a park, or walking city streets, are you aware of the various possible dangers? Do you think about muggings, dangerous dogs, bad weather, accidental falls, or busy traffic?
Yes, I feel safe taking walks outside.

All the things that you mentioned can be a danger to anybody young or old. One should not try to avoid all potential harms by being a shut-in. You can safely enjoy outdoor activities at any age by taking proper precautions and actions.

Muggings can happen in any cities big or small. I would never wander in any unknown or potentially unsafe area just by myself or when it is dark and there are not too many people around.

Dangerous dogs and animals should be on everybody's mind when taking a walk or hike especially in isolated areas. When living in NY, we took daily hike in the 70 acres wood behind the house. We frequently saw coyote scats on the trails. We even saw a scary coywolf and a bobcat in our back yard. While hiking, we always carried walking sticks with sharp spikes, whistles and of course our cellphones.

Bad weather is mostly avoidable with so much weather information all around us and at our finger tips.

Accidental falls can happen anywhere even in your own home. One just have to be aware of the surroundings and be cautious when walking on uneven or slippery surfaces. Proper footware is critical. One can also use a cane or a walking stick to navigate uneven terrain.

Busy traffic can be more of a hazard to motorists than walkers. Just like everything else in life, one just have to be cautious. As we get older, our reflexes and reaction times are slower so we just have to take our time to be safe.

Bottom line is that I do not see any reasons that older people should avoid being outside. Shut in is hazardous to both your body and mind.
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Old 11-04-2018, 09:53 AM
 
75 posts, read 27,603 times
Reputation: 252
When the wife and I go camping, fishing, picnicing, etc. around here, I keep a loaded shotgun handy, but hidden from plain view. In all my years, I only had to pull it out once.


For walking around the neighborhood, we use walking sticks.
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Old 11-04-2018, 10:00 AM
 
Location: Wasilla, AK
7,308 posts, read 4,176,211 times
Reputation: 15899
A group of us go Jeeping in the Arizona desert once a week during the winter months. Most of us carry firearms. We've encountered illegal aliens twice since I've been with the group.
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Old 11-04-2018, 10:06 AM
 
10,391 posts, read 9,405,924 times
Reputation: 16018
Yes, I feel safe walking in my area. At times some of us walk together, not just to ensure safety but it's nice to have the companionship.

Perhaps if I lived in a more heavily populated area it would be quite different.
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Old 11-04-2018, 10:08 AM
 
Location: SoCal
13,323 posts, read 6,375,629 times
Reputation: 9952
My husband likes to do long walk and our city is rated as reasonably safe. But you never know. We had a gropping case for female joggers not too long ago, some of my kids do jog when they visit home. So even though it’s safe, it’s not 100% safe.

But this particular stretch of road that he was tempted to walk is very sparse, empty, no people in workday even, and that’s my worry. If a crime is committed toward an elderly, nobody will even pass by to notice. So I suggested for him not to walk this part.
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Old 11-04-2018, 10:09 AM
 
11,175 posts, read 8,575,060 times
Reputation: 28182
Quote:
Originally Posted by highplainsrus View Post
Do you feel safe taking walks outside? Whether hiking, strolling through a park, or walking city streets, are you aware of the various possible dangers? Do you think about muggings, dangerous dogs, bad weather, accidental falls, or busy traffic?

As I approach my seventies, I think about these things more and more. I am trying to reason my way through them to sort out the most likely problems from the irrational concerns and setting up conditions to create safe activities in safe surroundings.
I've been a single woman all my life. I know how to protect myself and I usually feel safe wherever I go and live.

I never understand why getting older suddenly makes folks feel vulnerable and unsafe.
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Old 11-04-2018, 10:34 AM
 
Location: Albuquerque NM
1,663 posts, read 1,531,914 times
Reputation: 3650
Appreciate all the suggestions here. I live near downtown and the river. There is a nice walking trail near the river but also homeless people living in the woods, etc. and some desolate areas. Every few years a woman walking alone is raped in that area. Last time it was a teenage boy and a middle aged woman. Also lots of pit bulls in my city. My neighborhood is safe for walking but I would like to expand my walking experience to be closer to nature. This is about being a woman, not my age.

Last edited by ABQ2015; 11-04-2018 at 10:51 AM..
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