We have heard the stories: lottery rip-offs, insurance fraud, and “sweetheart scams”. Unfortunately, seniors are a prime target for such financial abuse because of their trusting nature, large net worth and vulnerabilities. Last March, a study by Metlife found the annual loss from the financial abuse of seniors is a whopping $2.6 billion. The study also found that elder financial abuse can be committed by anyone. It can be as close as a “family member, neighbor, or friend”, or as far away as an “invisible voice on the telephone or an e-mail from the other side of the globe”.
It may not be surprising but financial abuse is generally not committed by strangers. More likely it is people who are in positions of trust such as business advisers, caregivers or family members (watch out for the kids). And it will probably get worse. With the number of seniors increasing and technological advances continuing, the number of opportunities for the financial abuse of seniors will rise dramatically.
You can learn more about this serious problem by reading the full study, including the common types and leading signs of financial abuse, by going to the Center’s Blog at midcolumbiaseniorcenter.com and look for the link to “Broken Trust: Elders, Family and Finances”.
If you do need help managing your finances – haven’t balanced your check book in a year – you can get trusted help from the AARP Money Management Program. The program offers money management service to help low-income seniors who have difficulty budgeting, paying routine bills, and keeping track of financial matters. For more information, contact the Area Agency on Aging at 541-298-4101.
In the same vein, there will be a Medicare Fraud Training, July 13 from 2 – 4 PM at the Mid-Columbia Council of Governments office on the corner of 11th and Kelley. The Senior Medicare Patrol, retired professionals who are trained to help Medicare recipients identify Medicare fraud, waste and abuse, will be providing the training and they encourage anyone who has contact with seniors to attend.
The last Next Chapter lecture before we take a two month summer break will be Tuesday the 30th and will feature Sue Samet, Director of the Area Agency on Aging, discussing the legislation affecting seniors that has passed this legislative session. The legislative leadership is hoping to conclude the session by the 30th, but we will see.
Performing at the Center this coming week will be The Jammers for the Sunday Pie and Jam Social on the 28th from 2 – 5 PM followed by the Dufur Boys from Dufur on Tuesday the 30th. And tonight the Jazz Generations will be playing their favorite standards for your listening and dancing pleasure. Music starts at 7:00 and the music is free but donations are appreciated.
Thanks to Joanne Scott for emailing me the baby boomer spoofing video called “Baby Boomers Battle Hymn” which I have posted on the Center’s Blog. It begins with the quote “Barack Obama’s inauguration makes 70 million baby boomers older than their president for the first time. Never has a group been so large….. or so clueless”. Although we may be clueless we know our music. So the first person who emails me the name of the restaurant made famous by Arlo Guthrie will win a free breakfast at the Center’s Ft Dalles Rodeo Breakfast on July 18th.
That’s it. It is hard to imagine that the fourth of July is just around the fireworks stand. So until we meet again, celebrate the unexpected even though it can be a real pain in the you-know-what.
“The past is a source of knowledge, and the future is a source of hope…” Steven Ambrose