Social Services

Senior Monongalians has a Social Services Coordinator and
SHIP Counselor assist seniors and their families.  Our Social Service staff works with clients to understand & enroll in Medicare Part D, finding answers to Social Security questions, directing clients to utility assistance programs, senior
housing options, and much more.

Important & Useful Links:

Telemarketer 3: Rise of the Robocalls

posted Apr 1, 2016, 10:51 AM by Senior Monongalians

March 17, 2016
by 
Pablo Zylberglait
Senior Attorney, Bureau of Consumer Protection, FTC

Picture this: It’s dinner time. The kids are screaming. Then the phone rings just as you sit down. It could be important, so you run through the toys to the phone. You answer, but all you hear is silence. After a few seconds, a recorded message reminds you that it may be time to have your carpets cleaned and they offer a great deal this month. Or you’ve won a trip. Or you can lower your credit card interest rate.

Does this sound familiar? Well, you’re not alone. We hear from many people about these robocalls. If the call is a message from someone selling something, and you haven’t given your written permission to get calls from that company, the call is illegal.

In fact, the FTC has stopped many companies from engaging in this illegal conduct. For instance, we just settled a case with USA Vacation Station because it made millions of illegal robocalls to sell vacation packages. Under the settlement, the company and its owner are banned from robocalling anyone ever again.  

Do robocalls bug you, too? If so, watch this video to learn more about them, and the steps you can take to help slow them down.

For more information, click here

Alert from the Office of the Inspector General

posted Apr 1, 2016, 8:04 AM by Senior Monongalians

Social Security Inspector General Patrick P. O’Carroll is warning citizens to be aware of phone calls from unknown people who claim to have information about a citizen’s application for disability benefits and offer assistance with the citizen’s claim.  The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) received a report from a Maryland citizen who recently received several of these phone calls, even though the citizen had not applied for disability benefits.

 

The callers appear to be “phishing” for personal information—such as Social Security numbers or personal financial information—from unknowing citizens, who possibly have applied for disability benefits and thus might be inclined to provide information to the caller in furtherance of his or her claim.  One person, who had not applied for disability benefits, reported recently receiving three unsolicited calls from a caller named Scott from a phone number with a 301 area code.

 

There are several variations of this type of phone phishing scam, which could lead to identity theft and/or government benefit theft.  The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently warned of similar phone calls from people impersonating IRS agents who request information to process a citizen’s tax return.

 

Therefore, Inspector General O’Carroll urges you to remain vigilant and protect your personal information.  O’Carroll states, “You should never provide your Social Security number, bank account numbers, or other personal information by telephone or over the Internet unless you are extremely confident of the source to which you are providing the information.”

 

If you have questions about any communication—phone call, email, letter, or text—that claims to be from or have a connection to the Social Security Administration, O’Carroll recommends you contact your local Social Security office, or call Social Security’s toll-free customer service number at 1-800-772-1213, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday, to verify its legitimacy. (Those who are deaf or hard-of-hearing can call Social Security’s TTY number at 1-800-325-0778.)

 

You may report suspicious activity or communications involving Social Security programs and operations to the Social Security Fraud Hotline athttps://oig.ssa.gov/report, or by phone at 1-800-269-0271, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday.  (Those who are deaf or hard-of-hearing can call the OIG TTY number at 1-866-501-2101.)

 

For more information, please contact Tracy Lynge, Communications Director, at (410) 965-2671.

Critical Component in Elder Abuse Fight

posted Mar 16, 2016, 9:08 AM by Senior Monongalians

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released the much-anticipated Elder Abuse Surveillance: Uniform Definitions and Recommended Core Data Elements (PDF)

The field of elder justices has long struggled with the challenge of comparing data from different jurisdictions or sources, each of which uses their own definition of “abuse” or “neglect.” By establishing and normalizing consistent definitions and data elements, it should become easier to compare apples to apples in order to better understand, and more effectively combat, elder abuse.

CDC worked with a wide range of stakeholders, including ACL, to develop these recommendations, which are consistent with ACL’s National Adult Maltreatment Reporting System (NAMRS)

Top 10 Senior Scams

posted Mar 14, 2016, 7:26 AM by Senior Monongalians

 Washington, D.C.—U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Ranking Member Claire McCaskill announced the top 10 frauds targeting our nation’s seniors in a comprehensive anti-fraud resource for seniors titled, “Fighting Fraud: U.S. Senate Aging Committee Identifies Top 10 Scams Targeting Our Nation’s Seniors.”  The guide is designed to inform and help protect seniors from some of the most pervasive and malicious scams and frauds.

 

Top 10 Scams Targeting Our Nation’s Seniors

  1. IRS Impersonation Scams
  2. Sweepstakes Scams
  3. Robocalls / Unwanted Phone Calls
  4. Computer Tech Support Schemes
  5. Identity Theft
  6. Grandparent Scams
  7. Elder Financial Abuse
  8. Grant Scams
  9. Romance Scams / Confidence Fraud
  10. Home Improvement Scams

How the Silver Alert Program Works

posted Feb 6, 2014, 7:35 AM by Senior Monongalians   [ updated Apr 8, 2014, 11:21 AM ]

Silver Alert is a program you hope you never need, but if you do, here’s what it is and how it works.  The Silver Alert Program allows law enforcement to issue alerts for adults with Alzheimer’s and other cognitive disorders.  Silver Alert is similar to what most states

already have for children called Amber Alert. It is a system that uses the broadcast media to notify the general public and law enforcement when an adult with cognitive impairment (memory, thinking and reasoning problems) is missing.  The Alert will include a description of the person, anything you know about the circumstances of the person’s disappearance, and other information that the State Police may think is important and appropriate.  If a loved one with cognitive impairment wanders and becomes lost, call the State Police or local law enforcement to submit a missing person's report and ask them to activate Silver Alert.  (If the missing person’s report is filed with local law enforcement, ask them to forward the information to the State Police.  Silver Alert must be activated by the State Police.)

In addition to the broadcast media, the State Police will also notify the Department of Transportation, Division of Highways and West Virginia Turnpike Commission.  If possible, through the use of their electronic signs, they can let motorists know that a Silver Alert is in progress.  They can provide information relating to the missing person and let motorists know how they may report any information they have to the State Police or other appropriate law enforcement agency.

For more information about Silver Alert or other tracking systems that help locate individuals with cognitive impairment, contact the Bureau of Senior Services, 1-877-987-3646.

Wandering Behavior – Preparing For & Preventing It

posted Jul 10, 2013, 10:33 AM by Senior Monongalians   [ updated Apr 8, 2014, 11:05 AM ]

Alzheimer's disease causes millions of Americans to lose their ability to recognize familiar places and faces. Six in ten people with Alzheimer's disease will wander. They may become disoriented and lost, even in their own neighborhoods. Although common, wandering behavior can be dangerous; if not found within 24 hours, up to half of those who wander risk serious injury or death.

 

Wandering is among the biggest challenges caregivers face.  Following are tips from the Alzheimer’s Association to help you prepare for or prevent wandering behavior in loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia:

 

Who's at risk to wander?  Anyone who:

          Returns from a regular walk or drive later than usual.

          Tries to fulfill former obligations, such as going to work.

          Tries to “go home” even when at home.

          Is restless, paces or makes repetitive movements.

          Has difficulty locating familiar places like the bathroom, bedroom or dining room.

          Checks the whereabouts of familiar people.

          Acts as if doing a hobby or chore, but nothing gets done (e.g. moves around pots and dirt without planting anything).

          Feels lost in a new or changed environment.

 

Consider behavior

          Be aware of who is at risk for wandering.

          Identify the most likely times of day that wandering may occur; plan activities at that time.

          Provide opportunities for activities and exercise.

          When night wandering is a problem, make sure the person has restricted fluids two hours before bedtime and has gone to the bathroom just before bed. Limit daytime naps, if possible.

          Monitor reaction to medications. Consult a physician, if necessary.

          Use communication focused on validating feelings (not correcting) when the individual says that he or she wants to leave to go home or to work.

If wandering is in progress, use distraction to re-direct the individual's focus.

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