Newsletter October 2008

Elder Care Advice From The Managing Director

“Respect your elders” was a phrase that I heard throughout my childhood and I suspect in many of yours. Unfortunately, after years of contribution to their communities and their families, it seems as though these members of our society are often marginalized and in some instances -taken advantage of or even abused; and this is not necessarily done by strangers. Family members can also, either knowingly or unknowingly, fail to treat their elderly loved ones with the respect they deserve and place them in compromising situations. More and more often I am reading articles about the mistreatment of our seniors. Luckily there are people out there trying to make a difference. Phone Busters and places like Pat’s Place are making strides forward in informing seniors and the public about abuse and scams that often target seniors. Knowledge is power. And we as families can help to empower seniors by sharing information and helping them prepare legal documents to protect themselves. This month’s newsletter is geared towards educating and empowering the older adults in our lives in order to assist them to protect themselves, their loved ones and their assets for now and for the future.

The Living Will and Power of Attorney: Security for the Future

“Families, the only normal ones are the ones you don’t know”. Perhaps a harsh statement but I would suggest that all of us have had some issues within our own families- whether it be sibling rivalry or parental conflict at some time or another. Our personalities don’t necessarily change as we age, in fact some would say that our idiosyncrasies are perhaps enhanced and maybe even more annoying to others than they were previously.

In my work with families, I see many of whom are in conflict with one another- and particularly ugly, are conflicts between siblings as it relates to care issues for their parent(s). Most often than not, money has something to do with it.

The purpose of this article is not to judge or scorn but to see if there is some way to avoid this pitfall. No matter what age we may be, if we can avoid familial conflict or at least reduce it in some way, and then a positive step has been taken.

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Scams and Seniors
“Wachovia (a large bank in the United States) has agreed to pay as much as $144 million to settle a federal probe into its relationship with telemarketers who preyed on senior citizens. As many as half a million elderly and poor may have been involved” says an article posted on the Caregiver’s Home Companion.

In the Wachovia telemarketing case, OCC investigations said that from June 2003 to December 2006, the bank worked with several telemarketers and payment processors that obtained bank-account information over the phone from thousands of elderly and poor consumers by offering to sell them identify-theft certificates, discount travel vouchers and other questionable products or services.

With the account information obtained during the call, the telemarketer or payment processor would create an RCC and deposit the instrument into an account at Wachovia, causing funds to be withdrawn from consumers’ accounts. The OCC said that as many as half of the transactions were disputed and Wachovia’s risk management department was aware of the problem but did not take action to resolve the issue.
The courts do their best to prosecute companies and “scammers” that they are able to catch. But many scam artists get away with their crimes because they go unreported by embarrassed victims or are able to flee before they are located. Cases like the one above don’t only happen in the US. Canadians need to be aware of fraudulent claims and scams so that they can keep from being victimized.

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Upcoming Events:

A Changing Melody Forum – November 15, 2008 The Murray Alzheimer Research and Education program (MAREP), a major division of the RBJ Schlegel-UW Research Institute for Aging (RIA) at the University of Waterloo, in partnership with the Alzheimer Society of Canada, the Alzheimer Society of Ontario and the Dementia Advocacy and Support Network International, are working together to organize the fifth and final A Changing Melody Forum, a learning and sharing forum for persons with early-stage dementia and their partners in care, which will take place on Saturday, November 15th in Toronto. The theme of this year’s forum is “Joining Forces: Building Supportive Dementia Communities”. For more information or to register for this event, check out:

A Changing Melody Forum

Phone: 416-658-8887 Toll Free:866-473-8887

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