Is it permissible to greet women with salaam and shake their hands?

Question: What is the ruling in Islaam regarding returning the greeting of Salaam to a woman, and should the woman give the greeting of Salaam (i.e. to a man)? And is there a difference between the young woman and the older woman, who there is no fear of Fitnah (temptation) from her? And what is the ruling of shaking hands and kissing their heads - meaning the old women?