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Information, programs available at Senior Center

I traveled to Denver for Saturday’s Colorado Senior Law Day.

I came away with loads of information, along with three extra bags of information plus an extra box of the Senior Law Handbook-2011 Edition. This publication is specific to Colorado, containing information on such topics as Social Security Benefits, Health Insurance Beyond Medicare, Medicaid, Veteran’s Benefits, Government Programs and Financial Assistance, Family Relationships, Estate Planning: Wills, Trusts, and Your Property, Grandparent Custody and Visitation Issues, Reverse Mortgages, Powers of Attorney, Hospice and Palliative Care: Options for Care at the End of Life, What to Do When Someone Dies, Lifelong Learning and the Aging Brain and much more.

If you would like a copy of this awesome book, stop by the office for your free copy (only 12 copies available), first-come, first-served only; no phone requests, please.

Consumer Fraud Awareness, Part 2

From Colorado Attorney General John Suthers.

With the information contained in this article, along with the numerous other resources available, we hope consumers continue taking the initiative to educate and protect themselves and their families against the unscrupulous behaviors of these fraudsters. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!

Internet Fraud.

Consumers are making an increasing number of purchases over the Internet as the Internet offers a wide variety of products and services at extremely competitive prices.

With this added convenience, consumers often neglect basic principles when making purchases over the Internet and should use the same caution with Internet purchases as they do with traditional brick and mortar stores.

Many of the same tactics used by dishonest people over the phone or through the mail are now used on the Internet. Failure to deliver items, fraudulent investment offers, rent-to own schemes, multi-level marketing or pyramid schemes, and the familiar postal chain letters are just a few of the old tried-and-true scams which have been converted for use on the Internet.

Fraudulent companies can literally disappear into “cyberspace,” erasing all traces of their operation and leaving you with few remedies against them. Keep in mind, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Tips for purchasing goods over the Internet:

• Order from companies you have previously dealt with or you know to be legitimate.

• At a minimum, do some basic research to find out if the business is licensed and verify the company history with the Better Business Bureau.

• Confirm a working customer service number you can contact if you have further questions or product issues.

• Protect your privacy — do not provide any more personal information than is necessary. Never give out your Social Security number or driver’s license number. In addition, be leery if someone asks you to reveal your passwords or any information used to install your online service.

• Find out in advance what the shipping and handling fees will be for items ordered. Don’t assume the seller will choose the least expensive option for you.

• Check the promised delivery date. By federal law companies must ship items by the date they promise or, if no delivery date is stated, within 30 days after the order date. If the seller cannot ship the item within that time, the seller must notify you, give you a chance to cancel the order, and send a full refund if you choose to cancel.

• Ask ahead of time what the company’s refund policy is and ask to be provided with a copy.

• Pay with a credit card. If a product does not arrive or if you believe it was misrepresented, you can dispute the charge with your credit card company. In addition, federal law protects you if someone uses your credit card in an unauthorized fashion.

• Do not, under any circumstances, provide your checking account number.

• Familiarize yourself with your financial institution’s account protections.

• Keep a record of your purchase and print out a copy of your order form and any other correspondence you receive.

If you have been a victim of or suspect Internet fraud, report your information to the Internet Crimes Center (IC3) at: www.ic3.gov and to the Colorado Attorney General’s Office at www.coloradoattorneygeneral.gov.

In addition, concerned family members or Coloradans who are 50-plus can call (800) 222-4444 and press option 2 to speak with an AARP ElderWatch volunteer for further assistance or visit us on the Web at www.aarpelderwatch.org.

DHS presentation

Learn about the many services available through the Department of Human Services on Friday, Aug. 5 at 12:45 p.m. Director Erlinda Gonzales will be here to enlighten us on all the services they provide; from assistance in Medicare Part B monthly payment for qualifying individuals to food stamps, energy assistance, adult protective services and much more.

Old age-not for sissies

Craig Munson, Licensed Clinical Social Worker, with Axis Health Systems will provide a presentation and lead a discussion on the fallacies and reliable information about mental health problems among senior citizens, Monday, Aug. 8, at 12:45 p.m. at the Senior Center.

Craig has over 30 years of professional counseling experience working with numerous populations with a wide range of problems such as anxiety, depression, stress and anger management, relationship conflict and substance abuse.

This presentation will clarify and correct perceptions about mental health and illness that have created barriers for senior citizens to obtain needed and relevant services.

Join Craig as he discusses:

• Stigmas and fears about the causes of mental health problems and confused expectation for mental health treatment.

• Coping with grief and loss vs. major depression disorder.

• How is anxiety the same or different between older and younger people?

• What are the barriers to overcome for seniors who would benefit from mental health services.

• The difference between dementia and CRS (can’t remember stuff).

• Impact of mixing alcohol with medication.

Remember, you don’t have to be sick to get better.

Medicare Open Enrollment

The 2011 General Enrollment for Medicare Prescription Plans (Part D) and Medicare Advantage Plans has changed to Oct. 15-Dec. 7, 2011.

Weekly activities at The Den

Friday, Aug. 5 — Geezers 9 a.m.; Stitchin’ in the Kitchen 10 a.m.; Department of Human Services presentation 12:45 p.m.

Monday, Aug. 8 — Gym Walk 12:30 p.m.; Mental Health Stigma, Myths, and Facts 12:45 p.m.; Canasta 1 p.m.

Tuesday, Aug. 9 — Chair massage 10 a.m.; Gym Walk 12:30 p.m.

Wednesday, Aug. 10 — Blood pressure checks 11 a.m.; Nutrition Education.

Thursday, Aug. 11 — Administrative day.

Friday, Aug. 12 — Geezers 9 a.m.; Stitchin’ in the Kitchen 10 a.m.; Gym Walk 12:30 p.m.; Founding of Australia 12:45 p.m.

This week’s menu

Suggested donation for older adults age 60-plus is $3, kids 12 and under and guests $6. Our meal program is partially funded through the Older Americans Act, United Way, and Archuleta County, Town of Pagosa Springs and other contributions and grants. These funds help support the cost of the meal which is approximately $11.51. Please note our menu is subject to change. The salad bar opens at 11:30 a.m. with lunch served from noon to 12:30 p.m.

Friday, Aug. 5 — Lemon-baked fish, oven browned potatoes, peas and carrots, tossed salad, vanilla ice cream with banana and strawberries, whole wheat roll.

Monday, Aug. 8 — Macaroni and cheese with ham slice, peas, tossed salad, banana muffin, mandarin oranges with pineapple.

Tuesday, Aug. 9 — Oven fried chicken, baked potato, spinach-mandarin salad, peaches, cornbread.

Wednesday, Aug. 10 — French dip on hoagie roll, au jus, oven-browned potatoes, mixed vegetables, fresh orange wedges.

Thursday, Aug. 11 — Closed.

Friday, Aug. 12 — Smothered chicken, cornbread stuffing, plums, peas, creamy coleslaw, whole wheat roll.

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