AARP to discuss elder abuse

Published 4:49 am Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Bogalusa AARP Chapter 4032, in partnership with the Washington Parish Council on Aging, is illuminating the issue of elder abuse on all fronts — including financial abuse, physical abuse and threats to ownership of their homes — said Emma Dixon, chapter president.

“Fleeced — Speaking Out Against Senior Financial Abuse,” a documentary film by WYFI Productions in cooperation with the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, will be screened at the November meeting.

“It’s time to screen the movie again,” Dixon said. “We are reading and viewing more and more news broadcasts on senior financial abuse. The Fleeced movie is very timely and highlights building awareness of elder financial fraud and abuse.”

Older adults are the fastest growing population in the United States and one out of five older Americans is the victim of financial fraud and abuse, according to the Investor Protection Trust. According to the MetLife Mature Market Institute, the damage to the emotional and physical health and well-being of the victims and their families takes a significant toll.

The film tells the story of older adults and their families who were victimized by different types of financial scams and abusive financial products. In the movie, individuals and their families transform from victims to advocates speaking out on behalf of others.

“It is a silver lining, I think,” Dixon said. “Because individuals emerge from victim to advocate.”

Expert commentary is provided in the film, with insights helping to inform older adults, family members, caregivers, financial service professionals, regulators, law enforcement and community advocates on how to identify, report and prevent older adults financial fraud and abuse.

In addition, the local chapter has also announced its partnership with Scott and Melynda Ard of ASI Services to provide a presentation at its Thursday, Nov. 16, meeting at 3 p.m. The presentation will include information on safety, and security for Bogalusa senior citizens.

“We are pleased to provide an information session at the AARP’s meeting,” Ard said. “We look forward to a one-to-two hour senior safety seminar, home safety inspection seminar including other topics dedicated to the safety, security and peace of mind for all of our elders.”

The Security and Safety Seminar is planned for early 2018, Dixon said.

Earlier this year, the Bogalusa AARP signed a memorandum of understanding co-initiating a cooperative agreement with the Washington Parish Sheriff’s office, the City of Bogalusa Police Department, and the Franklinton Police Department, to provide more protections from abuse, intimidation, bullying, and harassment of senior citizens and the elderly by younger residents. The reports of abuse of the elderly, by family members, caregivers and others have been rising at an alarming rate locally, statewide and nationally. We hope our efforts may assist in protecting more senior citizens in our community, Dixon said.

The chapter will also observe National Diabetics Awareness Month at this Thursday’s meeting.

All meetings are held at the Washington Parish Council on Aging, Bogalusa Senior Citizen Center, located at 603 Willis Ave. in Bogalusa.

Materials will also be provided from the Louisiana Department of Justice, Louisiana Attorney General’s office on Protecting Senior Citizens and Elderly Fraud and Abuse, along with the Senior Medicare Patrol.