Weapons of Opportunity: When You Can’t Reach Your Gun… | Ohio

What tactics and concepts are good to know so our parents and grandparents can protect themselves in their homes? As we age, our reaction time does have a tendency to diminish, as does our physical ability. I certainly know I do not move as fast as I used to. Sometimes, people may not be able to get to their firearms in time to defend against an intruder. So, I thought we might touch on a few concepts for in-home defense for seniors.


An alarm is always a good idea, but there are intricacies that should be contemplated when choosing one. With the proliferation of home security systems out there these days, there are a plethora of options. For seniors (and this was my personal experience with my father’s residence), simplicity of use is a must. If the electronics are too cumbersome or specific, it can become frustrating and the tendency may be to abandon their use. So, make sure it’s somewhat simple to operate.

The alarm should alert authorities so help can be sent automatically. Some systems just make noise, which they should do to scare off intruders. But alerts need to be sent out as well. Also, panic buttons strategically located around the home to alert neighbors and authorities might be a good idea to round off the system. Couple a good reliable security system with locking mechanisms on all points of entry, and you have gone a long way to securing the senior’s home.


Another idea is to get a dog. Dogs are the absolute best companions and, for that reason, are a great idea for seniors to have. But they can also help alert intruders, and potentially fend one off before getting to the homeowner. The noise they make can certainly be a deterrent at the very least and give the homeowner precious time to call 9-1-1. They don’t even have to be big dogs either. Sometimes, the little dogs can do just the trick. I know firsthand how a dog can deter a trespasser, as I have a Dachshund who is very aggressive, loud, and barks at anyone approaching the house.

Situational Awareness

Finally, seniors should seek instruction on how to respond to an evolving dangerous situation in their home. Senior situational awareness could decrease the anxiety and stress of a real emergency and give them precious time to respond. Add some non-lethal items within reach like mace, pepper spray, or a whistle. It might be just what you need to repel an attack.

In the end, it would be great if firearms could be as readily used by seniors as they are for members of the younger generations, but for some, it just isn’t the case. So, consider all of these other alternatives as options.

As always, if you have any questions about senior safety in Ohio or any other question, please call U.S. LawShield and ask for me, your Independent Program Attorney.

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