By Kay Kaylor
I advocate for residents in extended care and assisted living residences as the region’s lead long-term care ombudsman. I also am a Senior Medicare Patrol and State Health Insurance Assistance Program counselor. Information on the many aging and care concerns will be included here.
May is Older Americans Month, and it is a time to reflect on the many contributions elders have made to improve our lives for decades. This year’s theme is “Make your Mark,” highlighting the difference anyone can make to help older adults, in support of caregivers and to strengthen communities.
Local community leaders might consider offering programs for the ever-increasing aging population, such as creating memory cafés and a dementia-friendly community, adding brain health classes, and building affordable housing for elders. Other ideas include expanding local funding for caregiving, transportation, activities and meal programs, as well as building a separate, larger senior center.
The most important things to remember for all scams are that if someone by phone, email or mail or at the door asks you for your Social Security number or other private information, makes a threat or asks for money by gift card, money order or wire transfer, the person is trying to scam you.
During the 2020 census, no worker legitimately representing the Census Bureau would do any of those things. In person, they will carry government identification. If opening the door to any stranger makes you uncomfortable, answer census questions by mail, phone — call (844) 330-2020 -— or on the website, 2020census.gov.
Unfortunately, scammers will use the same methods legitimate political candidates use to solicit donations, including social media posts that look real. The scammers are sophisticated; they can email or mail fake ads as a political action committee or candidate or pose as pollsters or campaign volunteers. Again, they might try to trick you into giving them your credit card number or to donate by gift card or other untraceable means. Rather than try to tell the real from the fake, the best solution is to reach out directly to candidates you support or getting donation information from a trustworthy source.
The San Juan Basin Area Agency on Aging offers resources for people age 60 and older or on Medicare. For further information, please call or text 403-2165 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.