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Elder Abuse, Health Care Directives Focus of Seminars

The public is invited to the free talks on June 14 at the Santa Barbara YMCA

The Mason Law Group and Senior Planning Services will offer two free seminars on June 14 — “Advance Health Care Directives” from 10 a.m. to noon and “Identification and Prevention of Financial Elder Abuse” from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. — at the Santa Barbara Family YMCA, 36 Hitchcock Way. There will be a one-hour break between the two talks.

Suzanne McNeely founded Senior Planning Services in 1989. The company operates throughout Santa Barbara County, providing qualified caregivers in the home to help the elderly live in their own residence as long and as safely as possible. The company serves as a community resource for elder care issues and concerns.

Having worked with the county’s court system over the years, McNeely is an expert on elder abuse and how it can be prevented.

“We’re seeing a great increase in financial elder abuse, which includes misuse of funds or property, theft or embezzlement, and using undue influence to obtain funds,” McNeely said.

According to the county Area Agency on Aging, about 180 elder abuse cases are committed each month, with one in 14 cases actually being reported.

Sean Mason, of the Mason Law Group in Santa Barbara, has been an attorney since 1994. He is an expert in estate planning, trust administration, probate living trusts, wills, powers of attorney and advance healthcare directives.

An advance health-care directive provides the control, before it’s too late, to make critical choices, such as who you want to make health-care decisions for you, what types of health care you want and don’t want, and where and how you want to be cared for.

Mason and McNeely will discuss how you can best ensure your wishes have been properly considered, legally documented and communicated to those who need to know your medical care wishes. They say that just because you may not be able to speak for yourself, doesn’t mean you have to loose control of what happens to you.

The public is invited to the seminars. For more information, call Senior Planning Services at 805.966.3312 or the YMCA at 805.687.7720 x254.

— Barbara Burger is a media specialist for Senior Planning Services.


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