© ALL CREDIT TO THEIR RESPECTIVE OWNERS.
Unfortunately, criminals look to prey upon those who are most vulnerable. That is likely why older women and older/disabled people in general are among the most susceptible to crime. Beyond the fact that a significant portion of those conducting Dialysis are considered "older" (over the age of 65 years old) - at times many Dialysis patients feel frail, weak, tired and worn-out. Thus, they may be seen as perfect victims for criminals.
For instance, CBS Channel 4 News suggested that the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police are currently looking for two suspects who broke into a Chronic Kidney Disease patient's home, then robbed him at gunpoint after he had just finished his Dialysis Treatment. Similarly, just a few months ago, at 4:40AM a Dialysis patient arrived at DaVita for his routine Dialysis Treatments. He was then approached by a suspect with a "small revolver" and the Dialysis patient had to use a weapon of his own to defend himself. The Detroit News reported the patient, who was armed, pulled out his gun and asked, “Do you really want to do this?”
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Moreover, do not forget about what happened to Chronic Kidney Disease patient, William Strickland, who at age 72 was shot dead and robbed while awaiting city transportation to take him to Dialysis. A neighbor said, "He goes to Dialysis every Saturday...I think whoever did this was watching him."
"It is a reality," WebMD said of crime. "People are being victimized or are being targeted to be victims each and every day." Dialysis patients specifically may find themselves even more vulnerable because they often leave for Dialysis Treatments early in the morning or return home late in the night. They are also often home alone while family members are away at school or work.
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Hence, how can Chronic Kidney Disease patients who conduct Dialysis protect themselves? Well, even though those with Chronic Kidney Disease may be at risk, they should not let the fear of crime stop them from enjoying life. According to AgeUK.org, "fear of crime is associated with depression, poor health and low quality of life." The following are steps which patients can take to help avoid crime while staying safe and healthy with peace of mind:
1. Trust yourself. Many times, your eyes, ears, nose, skin, and tongue will give clues indicating that something threatening is ahead. Another powerful indicator, for Chronic Kidney Disease patents is widely known as a "sixth sense," and can also hint at danger. "Trust when something doesn't seem right," advised WebMD.
2. Lock all windows and doors when away from the house. Be sure all window and door locks are functioning. If necessary, update them promptly to newer, stronger locks.
3. Never open your door without checking to see who is there by looking through the peephole. Even then only open your door if you know the person.
4. Large amounts of cash and expensive jewelry should not be kept on hand or in plain sight as it may attract attention and put you in danger.
5. Act confident and focused. Just as you can sense people's feelings, others can sense yours as well. Predators look for people who are meek, mild, weak, unfocused, and distracted. "Criminals are looking for easy pickings. They're looking for someone who they can take by surprise and will likely not resist," says Jean O'Neil (Director of research and evaluation for the National Crime Prevention Council). She suggested that Dialysis patients should present themselves in an assertive manner. When walking down the street, make eye contact with people who look at you. O'Neil said that eye-contact signals to the would-be offender that you are in charge and aware that they are there.
These safety insights are increasingly important since a growing number of Dialysis patients are found to live in "poor areas" according to a Johns Hopkins study. These areas likely also have a higher crime rate. Still all patients should remain alert and adopt these strategies in their day-to-day lives to help improve their safety and health.
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