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Old 11-04-2018, 06:19 AM
 
Location: high plains
496 posts, read 704,099 times
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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.

Last edited by highplainsrus; 11-04-2018 at 06:20 AM.. Reason: formatting
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Old 11-04-2018, 06:33 AM
 
1,137 posts, read 569,749 times
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Sounds like professional help is called for.
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Old 11-04-2018, 07:29 AM
 
Location: Western Colorado
11,086 posts, read 12,467,812 times
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I carry a Glock .40 everyplace I go, so I feel pretty safe at 67.


Just be aware of your surroundings. Walk with friends or in a group.
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Old 11-04-2018, 07:37 AM
 
Location: Omaha, Nebraska
7,315 posts, read 4,154,596 times
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Why not get a stout walking stick and some pepper spray to deal with unruly dogs, and a cellphone or personal locator beacon (in areas with no cellphone signal) in case you need to call for help? I wouldn’t let your fears keep you from going on walks, since you enjoy them.
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Old 11-04-2018, 07:44 AM
 
Location: Loudon, TN
5,780 posts, read 4,830,089 times
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There are products other than guns to help you feel safe.

There are personal "body alarms" that you can wear on a belt, or pocket. It's a small electronic device the size of a "pager" like we used to use before cell phones. It has a 6" wrist cord that you pull when you are in trouble and it shrieks so loud it will run off any but the most crazed psycho killer.

You can also carry mace or pepper spray that can be carried in your hand or clipped to a belt or pocket.

Just for your own health safety, and to request help in any kind of emergency, you can get one of those "help" buttons, like the ones by 5 star, that work anywhere there is cell coverage. They make them as pendants or worn on the wrist like a watch, or carried in a pocket. One push and an operator will ask if you need help. They have a GPS in them so you don't even have to be able to say your location.

I have a stun gun built into a 6 inch flashlight that I carry when hiking. I can clip it to my waistband, or carry in a pocket. Just flicking that thing on will scare most people, but a 2 second contact will knock a grown man on his azz, and it can be used for as long as you need it.
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Old 11-04-2018, 07:57 AM
 
Location: Loudon, TN
5,780 posts, read 4,830,089 times
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Perhaps it's just because we live at a golf course, but many seniors around here walk with a golf club. LOL Actually works well if they encounter a stray dog. Most dogs are afraid of someone wielding anything that looks like a big stick.
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Old 11-04-2018, 08:16 AM
 
Location: VT; previously MD & NJ
2,199 posts, read 1,342,982 times
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Lots of good ideas here. I especially like the walking stick. I never really considered dangers from dogs or people. My first thought when I read the thread title was about always carrying my cell phone so I can get help if I 'fall and can't get up.' I refuse to stop doing things due to being afraid of the world around me.
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Old 11-04-2018, 08:35 AM
 
14,260 posts, read 23,983,382 times
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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?

I volunteer at a university which brings me on campus about twice a week.

My major concern that I have while walking is that one of the international students fail to see me in the cross walk. A lot of the students have very limited driving experiences and have high performance cars. However, they are far less dangerous than the Uber drivers in the area.

I am far more concerned about the me as I am about some of the students. Many of the young ladies walk in the neighborhoods alone with a cell phone in their face completely oblivious to the environment. I have had a couple walk right into me. They would be an easy target for any street crime.
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Old 11-04-2018, 08:41 AM
 
Location: VT; previously MD & NJ
2,199 posts, read 1,342,982 times
Reputation: 6333
Quote:
Originally Posted by jlawrence01 View Post
I volunteer at a university which brings me on campus about twice a week.

My major concern that I have while walking is that one of the international students fail to see me in the cross walk. A lot of the students have very limited driving experiences and have high performance cars. However, they are far less dangerous than the Uber drivers in the area.

I am far more concerned about the me as I am about some of the students. Many of the young ladies walk in the neighborhoods alone with a cell phone in their face completely oblivious to the environment. I have had a couple walk right into me. They would be an easy target for any street crime.
You could wear some kind of reflective vest so you show up better.
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Old 11-04-2018, 09:13 AM
 
5,423 posts, read 2,822,310 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheShadow View Post
Perhaps it's just because we live at a golf course, but many seniors around here walk with a golf club. LOL Actually works well if they encounter a stray dog. Most dogs are afraid of someone wielding anything that looks like a big stick.
We used to encounter two vicious Rottweilers roaming loose in a previous neighborhood. I always had to prepare by carrying rocks and sticks, plus if they approached me I turned the tables on them by charging them roaring like a maniac. This worked, but the day I was carrying a heavy, large tripod for photography they took one look at it and slunk away.

County animal control (there was a leash law) said carrying a BIG STICK was very effective with almost all dogs.

As for muggings, traffic, bad weather, and falls:

Muggings are unheard of around here, though there is crime.
I choose only lightly traveled roads if I am on roads. And NO headphones on!
I dress for the weather.
Falls are increasingly likely as I get older, but becoming sedentary only hastens bodily and mental deterioration! If it is icy outside or I am on trails with loose rocks and other hazards, I take the same extra care as younger people would.

Last edited by pikabike; 11-04-2018 at 09:23 AM..
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