Local communities have become much more accessible and senior-friendly. Even so, when it comes to personal safety, older adults and people with disabilities need to take special precautions at home as well as out and about.
Together with local police departments and Safe Streets, Pierce County Community Connections Aging & Disability Resources will host a series of five public presentations on simple things individuals can do to maintain their personal safety.
- Sept. 14 – Lakewood Police Department, 9401 Lakewood Dr. SW from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.
- Sept. 15 – Tacoma Police Department, 3701 S. Pine St. from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.
- Sept. 16 – Gig Harbor City Hall, 3510 Grandview St. from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.
- Sept. 17 – Sumner Senior Center, 15506 62nd St. Ct. E. from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.
- Sept. 19 – Graham Pierce County Library, 9202 224th St. E. from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.
“There is no doubt that seniors and people with disabilities are often targeted,” said Aaron Van Valkenburg, manager of Aging and Disability Resources. “Criminals see this vulnerability as an opportunity for quick gain with less risk on their part. But people can take some simple steps to improve personal safety both at home and in the community.”
While prime time television and other media constantly exaggerate violent crime, it is nevertheless a serious problem. Nationally the ratio of property crime to violent crime was higher for the elderly (13 to 1) than for younger persons ages 25 to 49 (3 to 1). The rates of violent crime (3.6 per 1,000 persons) and property crime (72.3 per 1,000) against elderly persons remain high. In addition, the rate of violent victimization for persons with disabilities (36 per 1,000) was more than twice the age-adjusted rate for persons without disabilities (14 per 1,000).
The five presentations scheduled in September will be presented by officers from the Lakewood, Tacoma, Gig Harbor and Sumner Police Departments as well as the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department. Participants will receive practical tips for personal safety, hear about crime in their neighborhoods and understand how best to interact with local police.
The event is free and no RSVP is required. For additional information about “Making it Safe at Home,” call the Aging and Disability Resource Center at (253) 798-4600.
Mari Kruger Leavitt, Community Connections
Bob Riler, Community Connections