Inside This Issue: Spring Cleaning, Elder Financial Abuse, SeniorPalooza and More

 

Apr/May 2019, Vol. XX, No 5

 

Springing Into Action

You have to search far and wide to talk with someone who is not thrilled that Spring has finally arrived. And while we are fortunate to have four distinct seasons in our little section of the world, there is something extra special about Spring that energizes and motivates us like no other season. We find ourselves doing a bit of “Spring Cleaning”, moving our fitness activities outdoors, and exploring whatever we can to spend some time away from the four walls we have been sharing our time with.

Spring is also the season we publicly honor those sharing their time, talents and passion to better their communities, with April being National Volunteer Appreciation Month. Thousands of organizations across the Country honor and recognize the contributions made by millions of dedicated community volunteers, including the Council, area senior centers, municipalities, schools, and so many Greene County organizations.

For your Council, volunteers add much more than ‘human power’ to our work. They enhance the quality of everything we do. They bring a unique energy to each project, program and event and bring out the very best in all of us.

In addition to honoring and recognizing volunteers, this is also a time to encourage volunteerism and civic engagement. The opportunities to share your time and talents are endless, but it is critical to find the best fit for you. Yes, you may be able to do many things, but the best part of volunteering is how it fills you up and provides you with a sense of purpose and not just a way to pass the time. Are their causes that are important to you? What organizations do you want to affiliate yourself with?

After you narrow your options, which is easier said than done, deciding how much time you have to offer is key. Keep in mind that you can always add to your volunteer commitments, so starting slow might be best. Do you prefer a regular schedule or helping with a special event or project? And what talents do you want to share? An accountant may NOT want to work with numbers but rather something he/she has never done before!

A Council team member is available to help you answer the questions above and explore some of the many volunteer opportunities throughout the County and beyond. If we can be of support, please give us a call or send an e-mail.

 

It's Your Money: Watch Out for Elder Financial Abuse

Older Americans are at risk of losing huge amounts of money in criminal scams: we lost more that $6 billion in fraud between 2013 and 2017, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. This dollar amount reflects only reported incidents, and unfortunately many cases go unreported by seniors. The amount of fraud nearly tripled from 2013 to 2017, and is expected to continue to grow. 

Americans aged 70 to 79 suffered the greatest individual financial losses, at an average of $45,300 per reported incident. Overall, the average amount lost across all older age groups was more than $33,000. The unfortunate, and scary, part of this problem is that the average fraud jumped to $50,000 when the theft was being committed by someone the person new and trusted. If a stranger was involved, the average loss was ‘only’ $17,000. One third of the adults who lost money were 80 years-old and over, and they experienced the second highest average losses at $39,200 per incident.

Financial exploitation can happen to anyone, but older adults are more vulnerable to money schemes due to issues that disproportionately affect them, such as cognitive devline, social isolation, being dependent on a caregiver, or having limited finances. 

One of the most common ways criminals cheat seniors is to ask them to send cash via wire transfer. Wire transfers typically can’t be reversed, meaning the senior who was cheated can never get his or her money back. Fraud via wire transfers has increased almost four fold in the last four years. Almost no legitimate company will insist on a wire transfer to receive a payment, so your best bet is to never ask your bank to make a wire transfer to anyone.

To avoid becoming a victim of financial abuse by a stranger or a family member/friend, here are some steps you can take to protect yourself or a loved one. 

· Plan ahead to establish a power of attorney for yourself of a loved one who may experience cognitive decline or identify a trusted fiduciary who will do so.
· Secure your private financial documents, monitor your bank accounts, set up automatic payments and transaction alerts, and request receipts from designated caregivers.
· Do not let caregivers pay bills from your bank account or use your credit card.
· Be wary of anything that seems “too good to be true” when it comes to investments, and be aware of Ponzi schemes.
· Understand FDIC insurance to know how you are protected.
· Avoid lottery, charity, and debt collection scams.
· Never give money to people over the phone. If any public company or agency calls demanding money, hang up. If you have a relationship with the company/agency, find the phone number in your own records and call them directly to inquire about the debt.

If you believe you or someone close to you has been the victim of elder financial fraud you can report it online to the Federal Trace Commission (www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov) or call 877-FTC-HELP (382-4357). You can also call our local Adult Protective Services at 937-562-6000 or the Council for information or help.

As always, if you want more information or help with this topic we encourage you to contact us at the Council ~ info@gccoa.org or (937) 376-5486.

 

· May is Older Americans Month, a time when we celebrate the lives and contributions of our seniors.

· Ohio has 2.5 million residents who are 60 and better with 31,000 calling Greene County home.

Your Council, along with the ten senior centers in Greene County, celebrate the lives of older adults throughout the year. But on May 21st we will come together to celebrate Older Americans Month with the annual SeniorPalooza, a fun and interactive festival for the 50+ crowd. The theme for this year’s SeniorPalooza is Going With the Flow and individuals can participate in all or part of the activities at no charge, with the exception of $5 for those wanting a box lunch.

SeniorPalooza
Going With The Flow
Tuesday, May 21st
8:30am to 3:00pm
Greene County Fairgrounds

We will start the day with our 5K Walk/Run/Roll on the bike path, meeting at the Pavilion to get our tee shirts and warm up with some stretches with Shawnah Tibbs-Sergent. The rest of the activities start at 10am and include constructing a hanging vase frame, a bit of Spirograph, Tai Chi, paper airplanes — making and flying, flowcharts, marble runs, windsocks, regatta races and much more. This year’s closing brain fitness activity, with Lee Monty Hall Duteil and Trivia Tim Brickey, is Finish the Flow Challenge ~ an opportunity to finish phrases, quotes and songs. It will be entertaining for all, no matter if you are in the audience or competing for the coveted Flow trophy!

Event flyers and 5K registration forms are available at the senior centers, the Council and on the Council’s website. Registration is not required, but it is encouraged to assist us with lunch, tee shirt and supply planning.

We ask that you bring a paper product or hygiene item to donate to our area food pantries.

 
 

GCCOA Volunteers:Key to Making a Difference

Words cannot express just how much our volunteers mean to the Council team and to all those affected by their contributions. These individuals share their time and talents in numerous ways and we are humbled by each and every one of these individuals.

For a list of folks who have volunteered over the past year, click here. Our heartfelt and sincere appreciation to all.

For those of you on FACEBOOK, make sure you check out the Council’s page mid-April for some photos of our volunteers at their Key reception!

 

GCCOA 10 Day Purge Challenge

It is time again for the Council’s 10 Day Purge Challenge, where we invite you to join the Council team in decluttering our brains by decluttering our ‘stuff’. You know, those items that are gathering dust, creating a fall hazard and taking up valuable space in our homes, garages, basements and barns. We encourage you to make time to go through what you have, share items and their stories with family, and purge those items you have not used/looked at for years. For this challenge, we remove an unused or unwanted item on Day 1, two items on Day 2 and so on. As noted above, you might give one or all of the items to family, throw them away, or donate them to a church, senior center or the Council for an upcoming yard sale. And speaking of yard sales, the Council’s Annual Yard Sale information is below and we will be accepting donations from May 22nd through June 3rd!

GCCOA Yard Sale
Thursday, June 6th & Friday, June 7th
9am to 3pm
GCCOA Office—1195 W. Second Street
Xenia

Congratulations To Our Artisans

Thank you to those who came out to the Senior Artisan Show and to the 45 artisans who shared their creations. The show included 81 pieces, 9 of which sold. We asked guests to choose their favorite pieces, and three top vote getters were The Wren by Dorleen Hilbig, A Feathered Beauty by Judy Ireton, and My Soul Flies on the Wings of a Dove by BJ Michaelis. Our thanks to our friends at the Fairborn Art Association and we look forward to another beautiful show in 2020!

Good to be Alive Right About Now Flash Mob
Wednesday, May 29th at 1pm
Short Street in Yellow Springs
Celebrating Senior Health & Fitness Day
Hosted by the Yellow Springs Senior Center

We hope to see you there!

 

Donor Spotlight

Please join us in thanking these generous donors who shared a gift since the last newsletter. All donations are set aside to be used for future services/programs.

In Memory Of:
Enid Cradit
Cathy Dewine
Hazel Fernalld-Prickett
Elmer Graham
Esther Hofferbert
Fred Kroemer

Donors:
Ray & Marlene Acus
Marvin Barrett
Linda Campise
Walter Chin
Charles Dressler
Cynthia Olsen
Frieda Parks
Evelyn Whilding
Fairborn Senior Center
Friends Care Community
Heartland of Beavercreek
Legacy Village
Preserves at Beavercreek
Village at the Greene
Xenia Adult Recreation & Services Center
WBZI - Real Roots Radio

GCCOA Energizers Sharing Their Time & Talent:

Matthew Bennett
Skip Blankenhorn
Tammy Cox
Dave Cusack
LB Fred
Lynn Hardman
Cecilia Hightower
Linda Johannes
Jerry Mahan
Ed Martin
Justin McColaugh
Barb McKown
Roger Panton
David Peterson
Ken Richardson
Eric Sears
Pete Stephan
Barb Werth

 
 

Upcoming Programs & Meetings

Medicare 101 (offered every other month)
Thursday, April 11th ~ 3:30pm—5:00pm
GCCOA Office ~ 1195 W. Second St., Xenia

GCCOA Membership Meeting
Tuesday, April 16th ~ 2:30pm
Fairborn Senior Center ~ 325 North Third Street, Fairborn

Senior Recognition Luncheon ~ Greene County Fairgrounds
Wednesday, April 24th ~ 11:00am—1:00pm

Memory Loss, Dementia & Alzheimer’s Disease (offered every other month)
Wednesday, May 8th ~ 2:30pm—4:30pm
Council’s Beavercreek Office, 1221 Meadow Bridge Dr., Suite C, Beavercreek

SeniorPalooza ~ A Fun Festival for the 50+ Crowd
Tuesday, May 21st ~ 8:30am—3:00pm
Assembly Building, Greene County Fairgrounds, Xenia

GCCOA Yard Sale & Baked Goods Sale

Thursday & Friday, June 6th & 7th ~ 9am to 3pm
GCCOA Office, 1195 W. Second St, Xenia

For more information about these and other GCCOA programs/events,
please contact the Council at 937-376-5486 or info@gccoa.org 

 
 

Greene County Council on Aging
937-376-5486
Committed to Seniors and Caregivers

Our mission: To promote independence and quality of life for Greene County senior citizens and caregivers by facilitating and supporting the development, implementation and continual improvement of a comprehensive and coordinated system of contact and care.

 
 
 
 

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