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Top Ten Scams Targeting the Elderly - Most popular senior scams and how they work

The National Council on Aging (NCOA) recently published an article outlining the "Top Ten Scams Targeting Seniors". The list includes financial scams aimed primarily at elders and briefly describes the hallmarks of each scam. Sadly, each and every one of the listed scams has come to the attention of law enforcement agencies in Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties, making scams on seniors a very real problem in our communities.


How to Improve Your Memory - 5 Easy Rules For Improving Your Memory

5 Easy Memory Improvement Rules
by Stacey Wright

We all suffer from a fading memory and bouts of forgetfulness, as a natural part of the aging process. In the August, 2013 Harvard Health Letter, (published monthly by Harvard University) Anthony Komaroff, M.D., addressed the issue of enhancing memory. In his column Ask the Doctor, Dr. Komaroff answered a reader's concerns about forgetfulness by offering his 5 "simple tricks".


How to Prevent Financial Abuse With Aging Parents - Signs of Elder Financial Abuse

All of us know a senior that lives alone and seems to be doing well managing their affairs. Maybe it's a neighbor, maybe it's a friend from church, maybe it's your parent. Life is busy, everyone has deadlines to meet and goals to attain. Sometimes the responsibility of keeping an eye on this person can be overwhelming. When your lonely loved one meets a new friend who seems to take an interest, seems to genuinely like your loved one and is actively involved with helping them you breathe a sign of relief; finally it's not all on you. But without active involvement and keen awareness, these lonely seniors are in a perfect position to be taken advantage of and it's almost always financial and it's almost always first.


Emergency preparedness for elders - How to prepare a senior for natural disaster.

By Stacey Wright on Aug 13, 2015 at 05:03 PM

Southern California is a wonderful place to live, but unfortunately emergencies are a part of our lives here. The two best thing you can do to improve your chances of survival during and after a disaster are to BE PREPARED and to STAY CALM during and directly after the event.

Because the likelihood of a major earthquake hitting our community in the near future is inevitable, and wildfires are a regular occurrence in California, preparedness for such disasters is a necessity. Each of us must assume responsibility for our own safety, as well as for the safety of our dependent loved ones and pets. By having a solid disaster plan and a “go bag” (which includes necessities for each member of the family), we can improve the likelihood of comfort and safety during an event, as well as survival, during times of unexpected crisis.

The following is a list of some of the basic items you should have, preassembled in a bag or plastic storage bin. These items will help you weather the storm during the hours and possibly days it may take for rescue workers to come to your aid. For the elder, there may be additional items you need to remember: walkers/canes/wheelchairs, hearing aids, eye glasses, disposable undergarments, medication bottles and any caregiver contact information.

~ Flashlight with extra batteries - electricity may be out for extended periods

~ Battery operated or hand crank radio - for updates, information and instructions

~ Emergency cash in small denominations, including quarters for pay phones - ATM’s may be non-operational, and so too may be cell service for mobile phones

~ A bill or other proof of residency

~Identification - a copy of your Driver’s License, Birth Certificate, Passport, etc

~ Copy of your health insurance card, including prescription coverage, Medicare and Medi-Cal

~ A list of allergies to all drugs and food

~ Copy of renter or homeowners insurance policy

~ Recent photos of all family members and pets for re-identification purposes

~ A pre-prepared list of emergency contact phone numbers, including at least one out of town/state relative or friend

~ Local map

~ Extra key to your vehicle and home

~ Multipurpose fire extinguisher (A, B & C)

~ Whistle - to summon help if you are trapped

~ Food and water supply for several days (a gallon of water per person per day)

~ A hand operated can opener

~ Prescription medications for at least a week

~ Extra pair of prescription eyeglasses and hearing aids (with batteries) in case yours are broken or lost

~ A first aid kit

~ Paper, a permanent marker, duct tape

~ Dust mask

~ Pocket knife or “Leather man” tool

~ A wrench or specialized tool to turn the gas off to your home - This should be pre-placed at the shut-off valve

~ Sturdy shoes, a change of clothes, a warm hat and a blanket

~ Toothbrush and toothpaste

~ Pet food/ bowl for your pet(s)

~ This article for easy reference

In the event of a major disaster, you may be on your own for several days. You will want to have the basics on hand to provide for yourself and your dependent loved ones. With extra cash you may be able to purchase necessary items from those who have extra. It’s also a good idea to keep at least 1/2 a tank of gas in your car at all times, in case fleeing (during a fire) is necessary. Alternatively, the fuel will allow you to run your vehicle in order to listen for information on the radio or find a warm dry place in inclement weather.

Safety Tips During an Earthquake

If you are inside, stay inside until the shaking is over. If the elder is ambulatory, get under a large table or desk, stand in a doorway, or get into a corner. If you are not under a piece of furniture, cover your head with your arms. This will help you avoid being struck in the face or head by falling debris.

If you are inside, get into an open area away from buildings, trees, overhead wires and walls. If you see a fallen wire, move away from it immediately, as wires may “dance” and cause electrocution if they make contact with you or something near you.

If you are in a crowded public place don’t panic. Select an exit route that is free of things that could fall on you, and walk toward a doorway near the entrance of the building. Stay away from windows and large walls. If you can, seek refuge under a large desk or table. Do not use the elevator.

If you are driving, pull over in a safe spot and wait for the shaking to stop. Avoid parking under an overpass and try to avoid stopping in a location near overhead wires. Stay in your car. If you must drive, understand that earthquakes often cause large sections of the roadway to drop away, and you could find yourself falling from what had previously been a safe route. Proceed with utmost caution. Stop and park at the first safe place you find.

After the Earthquake

Check the surrounding area for injured persons, being careful not to move anyone with a serious injury, unless they are in immediate danger. Apply first aid to those in need. Use your phone only to report a fire, gas leak, fallen electrical wire or a life threatening injury, as communication will be very limited.

Look for hazards in your immediate vicinity and do what you can to mitigate the danger. Make a list of the hazards you find that you can’t attend to. When first responders arrive on scene you will want to give them this information. Tune your radio to one of the emergency channels in your area. Do not drive, as emergency vehicles will need to utilize the roadways as quickly and efficiently as possible. Help others in need if you are able. If you must evacuate your home, leave a message inside your home advising others of where you can be found.

Don’t forget -the two best things you can do to improve your chances of survival , as well as improve the chances of your loved ones comfort and survival during and after a disaster are to BE PREPARED and to STAY CALM during and directly after the event.

written by Stacey Wright


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Suite 16
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Mailing Address:

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Santa Barbara, CA 93190