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Seminar to Alert Senior Citizens to Scam and Abuse Threats

A seminar to alert and inform about senior scams and elder abuse will be held Monday, Nov. 9, 2015, at the DeWees Community Center in Lompoc.

According to Barry Jay Marks, Area Agency on Aging Advisory Council chair, abused elders experience significant health care problems, such as bone and joint problems, depression or anxiety, chronic pain, high blood pressure and heart problems.

“Elder abuse is the crime of the 21st Century,” he said. "Elders who experienced abuse, even modest abuse, have a 300 percent higher risk of death when compared to those who had not been abused. Research has also shown that victims of elder abuse have had significantly higher levels of psychological distress and lower perceived self-efficacy than older adults who have not been victimized."

This seminar aims to call attention to the problem of scams and abuse inflicted on older persons. 

“Prevention is the key. Information about preventing elder abuse will also be the focus of the seminar. While we recognize that the problem is growing, we also need to step up our efforts to prevent senior scams and elder abuse,” Marks said. 

Assistant Deputy District Attorney Tracy Grossman of the County of Santa Barbara will be the keynote speaker. Grossman, who leads the elder/dependent Adult Abuse Unit, will speak on the forms of fraud that are often directed at the elderly, such as home improvement scams, identity theft and caregiver fraud.

“The impact of abuse, neglect and exploitation also has a profound fiscal cost," Marks said. "The direct medical costs associated with violent injuries to older adults are estimated to add over $5.3 billion to the nation’s annual health expenditures, and the annual financial loss by victims of elder financial exploitation were estimated to be $2.9 billion in 2009."

An innovative role playing will be presented by employees of Union Bank, which sponsors the event. Other speakers at the event will be Kevin Martin, Lompoc City Police Department, and a representative from the Santa Barbara County department of Social Services Adult Protective Services.

Sponsors of this Senior Scam/Fraud Alert seminar are Area Agency on Aging, Union Bank Our Gang, Doctors Assisting Seniors at Home, Santa Barbara County District Attorney and the City of Lompoc.

For additional information contact Sue Slavens, recreation supervisor, City of Lompoc at 805.875.8098, or Joyce Ellen Lippman, Area Agency on Aging director, at 805.925.9554 or 1.800.510.2020.

Joyce Ellen Lippman represents the Area Agency on Aging

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