Summit County Prosecutor Sheri Bevan Walsh designated September as Senior Awareness Month. Her concern for senior citizens was shared in an article in the Akron Beacon Journal.
In that Sept. 10 article, Prosecutor Walsh said: "Criminals many times target seniors, thinking they are vulnerable and easy victims. As Summit County Prosecutor, I want to empower seniors so they don’t become victims."
She went on to propose the following tips to protect yourself from scams.
1. Never send money or provide personal information to unfamiliar companies or unknown people.
2. Be aware of scams that target elderly, such as the "grandparent scam" and "jury-duty scam."
3. Don’t answer calls when you don’t recognize the number.
4. Talk to family or friends prior to making any large purchases or investments over the phone with a stranger.
5. Don’t forget the power to simply hang up the phone when a stranger is trying to sell you something you don’t want.
I am sure we have all heard these warnings before BUT some of these people keep calling and keep calling! Did it ever cross your mind that they would go away if you would just talk to them once?
I once told the caller, when she told me I "she could get us a better rate on our electricity bill," that we did not have any electricity in our home … this stopped her from talking. Later that day, someone else called back wanting to change our electricity rates. They obviously did not take us off their list that time. Or the next, and next.
Just remember: do not do any business over the phone without having READ (on a piece paper) what it is all about, and what it will cost you.
Hope you already have your Senior Celebration tickets. Allen and I will be there to answer any of your questions about the Lifeline Medical Alert system sponsored by the University Hospitals Portage Medical Center in Ravenna.
If you would rather call us (330-297-2552) for information, please do so, just remember that we are not always in the office, leave a message and WE will get back to you.
I mention this because winter is fast approaching, and our opportunity to fall will increase. If you do fall, you do want to have assistance available as soon as possible. The standard Medical Alert unit ($34 a month) operates within 300 feet of your home This will give you access to your mailbox, sidewalk, and part of your backyard, etc.
While we are on the subject of falling … have you ever taken a Matter of Balance class offered locally, free of charge by the Portage County Health Department in conjunction with UH Portage Medical Center and Sequoia Wellness at NEOMED?
The brochure describes the program as "a series of small-group workshops that are offered in our county to help participants view falls as controllable." A Matter of Balance is an award-winning program that is now offered, free of charge, in all 88 Ohio counties.
After attending six sessions, participants report more awareness of factors that could cause them to fall, an increased awareness of the need to exercise or to at least increase their activity levels, resulting in fewer falls.
Take some time and consider participating in one of these classes; they are frequently offered in all parts of our county. To find out where they are currently being held, call the Portage County Health Department at 330-296-9919.
It is October and you know what that means … being inundated with salesmen wanting to improve and maybe expand your Medicare Supplemental insurance program.
Watch the newspaper for various meetings being held to convince you to change to someone else’s plan. The first of these meetings that I have seen scheduled is on Oct. 24 at 9:30 a.m. at the Portage County Senior Center (level G). Call 330-297-3456 for additional information about this particular program.
Check with your neighboring Senior Centers (Aurora, Hiram, Streetsboro, and Ravenna) as to when other informational sessions will be offered in your neighborhood. Or contact the Area Agency on Aging (330-896-9172) for a list of sessions that will be offered in Portage County or other counties nearby.
Contact Sally Kelly at Sentrip65@yahoo.com or 330-687-9501.