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Aging Wisely: America’s Big Aging Misconceptions

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It’s time for a “senior care reality check”, say many experts in the field of aging, including our own Executive Director at Aging Wisely and EasyLiving, Alex Chamberlain. Alex was recently interviewed as part of SeniorCare.com’s report on the misconceptions about aging.

aging wisely, aging misconceptions

As Alex shared, “when it comes to aging or chronic care needs, everyone thinks they will be okay or that they have family to take care of them” and lack of preparation “just makes conflict and hard choices more likely”.

Fortunately, there are more choices than ever. As Alex urges, “think about what you want as you age and then learn a little bit about the realities”.

americans have more long term care choices than ever

Alex shares, “Unfortunately as an owner of a home health business, I have seen the good, the bad, and the ugly. I have seen families’ quality of life disappear due to being unprepared for the challenges of long-term care.I have seen loved ones and family members never speak to one another again because they weren’t prepared and began fighting over everything”.

The families who navigate the challenges successfully did their homework, got help from quality professionals, and availed themselves of the choices that were best for them. The statistics shared in this report and the opinions of all the experts point to the same important advice: be prepared!

aging wisely preparation

To talk to Alex Chamberlain about this thoughts on this subject or get more information from our expert team so that you can be prepared, contact Aging Wisely online or call 727-447-5845.

aging wisely alex chamberlainAlex Chamberlain, Aging Wisely and EasyLiving Executive Director, shares his expertise here and on our EasyLiving blog regularly. Alex is a Clearwater Chamber Young Professional of the Year and has been named a top business leader by several business publications. Most importantly, Alex has a passion for bringing innovation to eldercare and has dedicated his career to giving families better options and creating a better environment for caregiving professionals. Connect to Alex on Linkedin.

 

**Graphics are from Seniorcare.com’s Report on the Major Misconceptions of Aging. Read more details of the report there and Help Close the #SeniorCareGap by sharing this and making sure others are aware!

 

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Elder Abuse Prevention Event

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Seniors Virtual Conference Registration Flier 2-19-14
As elder advocates, we are always glad to share important educational information. We were recently contacted about an upcoming online event focusing on elder abuse. Please take a look at this important information and consider sharing it with others as well. This vital information does not receive enough attention.

Elder abuse remains a drastically under-reported crime because of factors such as the victim’s fear of losing independence. There are also many challenges to investigation and prosecution, so justice is often thwarted.

Here are some of the top myths that hinder the successful prosecution and investigation of criminal elder abuse:

  • Elderly people make terrible witnesses.
  • If the elderly victim refuses to provide information, nothing can be done.
  • If an elderly victim gives money voluntarily, it is not a crime.
  • If the victim is deceased, you cannot prosecute.
  • Any case where the elderly victim is involved in a home repair dispute involving money is a civil matter.
  • Suspects of elder abuse never call 911.
  • Elderly people die from natural causes, without investigation needed.

Get the real story and learn how to protect yourself or your elderly loved ones by attending a free online event April 10th 9am – 4:30pm EST. Be an advocate for elders! Register here and help the National Crime Prevention Council fight these awful crimes.

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Senior Scams: Keeping Your Elderly Loved Ones Safe

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Financial exploitation of seniors is a growing problem and often goes unreported. Many seniors are embarrassed to report scams or exploitation and fear losing independence if they admit they have been victimized. All too often, family members are the exploiters (Florida elder exploitation statistics indicate about 27% of cases were committed by a son or daughter.)

Some common Florida elderly scams and abuses include:

• Durable Power of Attorney Misuse
• Identity Theft
• Imposter Fraud
• Moving Scams
• Investment Fraud
• Annuity Fraud
• Home Repair Scams
• Charity Fraud
• Telemarketing or sweepstakes Fraud

Some examples of scams that are frequently targeted to elderly individuals living at home alone include: excessive or unnecessary home repair work or devices (water softeners for example) or work paid for but not completed; sweepstakes and lottery scams; “fishing” for personal information over the phone or email for identity theft purposes; distraction techniques (coming in to the home for a stated purpose and stealing items while the person is distracted).

Reducing social isolation and having trusted parties checking in on someone as they age can help reduce the likelihood of being a victim of a scam, or assist in quickly identifying concerns and stopping any ongoing fraud.

Resources for elder exploitation:

Safeguard Our Seniors http://www.flseniors.net/
National Center on Elder Abuse http://www.ncea.aoa.gov
Florida Abuse Hotline: 1-800-96ABUSE
Florida Elder Help Line : 1-800-96ELDER

Additional senior safety tips:

• Elders should talk with legal and financial advisors about how to prepare for aging and possible incapacity-what legal documents are needed, how to set up financial accounts and especially share any concerns about family members or family conflicts to be taken in to consideration when planning.
• Open conversations about wishes, paying for care, priorities and beliefs help families to better handle their loved one’s needs and possibly to be more aware of changes in patterns. A neutral party may help in facilitating these conversations.
• Families at a distance should consider having a trusted party(ies) to check in on a loved one who lives alone. A geriatric care manager can visit to provide some oversight and help to pick up on any changes that might be cause for concern.
• Always check out any parties hired to do work for an elder. It is best to use reputable companies/licensed agencies or providers. You can at least check to ensure it is a legitimate business and does not have a history of complaints. Talk to your loved one about some of the common scams and remind them that they should not hire unknown parties or let individuals in to the home.
• For in-home care in Florida, use a licensed home care agency which must adhere to state-required rules and standards. If your loved one has private caregivers, see our handout Caregiver Concerns to learn more and be aware of signs that might be red flags.
• Professional advisors can help families by being aware of major changes or red flags. In discussing future planning, discuss procedures and options if the professional has concerns and seek to open communications between family members. Help clients with alternatives and protective measures when family conflict exists or there is a concern raised about a particular family member. Be aware of mandatory reporting statutes and report possible abuse to the state hotline.

We’re here to help if you have concerns or questions about help for elderly loved ones in Florida. Contact Aging Wisely for elder advice, geriatric care management assessments, family caregiver consultations.

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Our goal is to enable every individual we work with to live the most fulfilling life possible, with utmost dignity, focusing on their physical, mental, spiritual, family and financial wellbeing.