Wednesday, October 30, 2013

IN MY VIEW: Be prepared when scams head your way

IN MY VIEW: Be prepared when scams head your way

We’ve taken some big steps toward keeping seniors safe in our communities. Green Valley News editor Dan Shearer helped make protecting seniors one of my top priorities last January, and for that I am grateful. In partnership, we are working to raise awareness and help people protect themselves and their family members.
On Monday, Nov. 4, from 1 to 3 p.m., I am sponsoring my third Senior Scam Prevention event in the Green Valley/Sahuarita area at Quail Creek’s Madera Clubhouse. This event is for every senior in our state and for those who have senior citizens in their families. It will provide valuable information about how to keep seniors and their assets safe.

The truth is that we have new seniors who are facing new threats that are ever changing. As a community, we must remain vigilant in protecting our seniors and their assets. I recently attended a workshop at Arizona State University in Phoenix where I heard from victims, law enforcement agencies and financial institutions. The research presented was sobering. We senior citizens grew up when the world contained fewer threats to our security. Sometimes, I think maybe we grew up when we could be more trusting. I believe we should be able to trust others, but we should also protect ourselves and our families — just in case. There is nothing wrong with being prepared!

This event is designed to help our community do just that — be prepared. The Arizona Attorney General’s Office will be the main presenter and they will be joined by the Pima Council on Aging, and the SAV Scam Squad. A representative from AARP will also participate, as will people from TeleCare. Telecare, whose volunteers reach out to seniors and other vulnerable people who are unable to leave their homes, will be there to inform the community of their services and to recruit volunteers.

Protecting seniors in our community is part of my larger commitment to helping all those who are most vulnerable. Recently, Kelly Raach, regional director of the Alzheimer’s Association, posed this challenge to me. How can we help protect people living with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease? That has sparked a new project.We must develop a comprehensive approach to helping people protect their assets. That is why I am proposing a financial institution breakfast summit where techniques and strategies can be shared with the goal of developing best practices, for seniors and for people living with dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease or are otherwise vulnerable. Please contact me at ADalessandro@AZLEG.GOV or at 1-(800)-352-8404, Ext. 65342, if you are interested in co-sponsoring or participating.

It will take hard work and dedication to keep those most vulnerable in our communities and their assets safe.State Rep. Andrea Dalessandro, D-Sahuarita, represents Legislative District 2 in the state Legislature, which includes Sahuarita and Green Valley.

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