Holiday Shopping Safety for Seniors

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Updated: December 2, 2014


senior safety when shopping over the holidays

When out shopping, be aware of your surroundings to protect yourself and your belongings.

With the holiday season fast approaching, you may find yourself out shopping more than usual.  While you are enjoying the spirit of the season, you must still remain aware of your surroundings.

Police nationwide report an increase in crime around the holidays, particularly in retail areas.  As we’ve mentioned in previous articles, senior citizens are often targeted as the victims of crime, due to the perception that they will be easier to distract or slower to react to what is happening.  Therefore, before you head out to the mall this holiday season, please read the safety tips below and keep them in mind.

  • Always keep your vehicle locked. If you are storing shopping bags or other packages in your vehicle as you move between shops, place them in your trunk, where they will be out of sight.  If this is not possible, bring a blanket to cover the bags.  A thief will be less likely to break into your vehicle if they can’t see what is inside it.
  • Shop during daylight hours when you can. If you must shop at night, make sure to park in a location where there is adequate lighting both on your vehicle and on your path from it to the store you are visiting.  The closer you can park to the door of the shop, the better.
  • At all times, be keen to your surroundings and always walk purposefully and with confidence. Have your keys in hand before you exit a building to move toward your car.  If you have to stop and fumble for your keys when you reach your car, you are making yourself vulnerable for attackers.  You should also avoid carrying too many packages at once, so as not to be caught off balance.
  • Make sure your purses and wallets are secure, and be aware of them at all times. Keep the number of credit cards you are carrying at a given time to a minimum, and know exactly which ones you have on hand.  Additionally, you should keep a record of all of your credit card numbers in a safe place at home, in the event your credit card is lost or stolen.  If you must carry cash, separate it into different pockets or locations on your person.
  • The general rule about safety in number applies to holiday shopping as well. When possible, bring a friend or relative with you to the store.