Office Closed Monday, January 18
The Area Agency on Aging office will be closed on Monday, January 18, 2016 in observance of Martin Luther King Jr, Day and will resume normal business hours on Tuesday, January 19, 2016.
"Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?'" - Martin Luther King, Jr.
Office Closed New Years Day
The Area Agency on Aging office will be closed for New Years Day and will resume normal business hours on Monday, January 4, 2016. Have a safe and Happy New Year!
AAAWM Office Closed for Christmas
Our office will be closed for Christmas Eve and Christmas day and will reopen for normal business hours on Monday, December 28, 2015. We wish you and your family a safe and very merry Christmas!
Put a Stop to Poor Care
Do you have a loved one in a long-term care facility? Do you know the signs of quality care, warning signs and red flags? For a printable graphic giving specific items to look for in order to keep your loved one safe, click here or click on the picture below. As always, contact our local Long-term Care Ombudsmen at (616) 245-9451 or (866) 485-9393 with any concerns.
AAAWM Looking for Volunteers
Area Agency on Aging of Western Michgian is looking for volunteers to help lead healthy aging programs. Volunteers are needed for both the Diabetes PATH and A Matter of Balance programs. No experience necessary, training provided. More information on each opportunity below.
Want to help older adults take a more active role in their health? Volunteers are needed to lead Diabetes self-management classes for older adults with Type 2 diabetes, no experience necessary. Free training provided through Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan. Volunteers must attend four days of training (February 23-24 and March 1- 2 2016). Volunteers will receive a stipend of $250 per six week workshop they lead in 2016. Contact Barb at email@example.com or call (616) 222-7011
The Balance Builder
Love working with older adults? Want to help seniors prevent falls and build confidence? Volunteers are needed to lead an award winning balance program for older adults. Free training in Grand Rapids April 21-22, 2016 provided through Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan. Signup: Contact Barb at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (616) 222-7011
Office Closing Early December 11
The Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan office will close at 11:15 a.m. on December 11, 2015 to allow our staff to celeberate at our annual staff holiday luncheon. The office will resume normal business hours on Monday, December 14, 2015.
The Kent County Elder Abuse Coalition is warning seniors and caregivers about several scams this holiday season. More details on each scam below and, as always, contact your local law enforcement right away if you feel you have been the victim of these, or any, scams or fraudulent activity.
Door to Door Gift Basket Scam
Be careful when opening the door for those holiday packages. Some people are going door-to-door with gift baskets or calling ahead of time to warn of a special holiday delivery. The catch, they telling people they need to scan their credit card and/or driver’s license for either a “verification fee” or to prove they are over 21 (if there is alcohol in the basket).They pull out a hand held scanner and now they have all the information they need to make unauthorized charges or commit identity theft.
Never, of course, give your credit card or debit card information to someone at the door.
In addition to having packages stolen off your doorstep, people should also watch for fake delivery status emails that can also cause problems.
The Federal Trade Commission has warned about phone "delivery failure notification" emails that can make the rounds during the holiday season. The email might look like it’s from the U.S. Postal Service and say you missed a delivery. But the trouble is the message will include more links to click for details. And here's where you'd end up with a virus or malware on your computer if you'd click on a link or download the attachment.
Another version of the email includes package “tracking information.” On their website, Fed Ex warns that such fraudulent emails can contain the subject lines “Shipping Conformation,” “Verify Info,” “Some important information is missing” and “Please fulfill the documents attached to verify your identity.”
Again, that phony email may have an attached file that may contain a virus or other malware.
FexEx warns that if you receive a message matching these descriptions, do not open the email or click on the attachment. Delete the email immediately or forward it to email@example.com.
Due to all of the Cyber Monday shopping and packages being delivered for Christmas, these emails may seem legitimate, but Fed Ex recommends people not click any links and instead copy the tracking number and go directly to the Fed Ex website and paste it in their “track package” section.
Consumers Energy Scam
Consumers Energy is warning customers to be cautious. They say this year alone, more than 1,000 energy scam attempts have led to $81,000 in losses. They say typically callers will contact a small business pretending to be from Consumers Energy and demand payment within an hour or two using a prepaid credit or debit card (the scam has been reported in 57 counties).
Seven Common Items in Consumers Energy Scams:
- A phone call demanding payment within a short time frame.
- Threaten service will be shut off if payment is not received.
- Insist on a specific form of payment (i.e.a pre-paid credit card).
- May seek personal or account information.
- May have an account number or what sounds like the proper bill amount.
- May "spoof" your phone, making it appear as if the call comes from Consumers Energy.
- May provide an 800 or 888 number to call that is not ours.
What You Should Know :
- Do not pay over the phone using a pre-paid credit card.
- Do not give personal information or money over the phone to anyone you do not know.
- If you receive a call and believe it may be a scam, call us immediately at 800-477-5050.
Did You Know?
- Consumers Energy employees and authorized contractors wear ID badges.
- We offer many ways to pay – by mail, in person or over a secure Internet site. Learn more at ConsumersEnergy.com/waystopay.
- We won't request personal information or insist on payment in less than 24 hours.
- We never demand payment using only a pre-paid credit card.
Michigan counties in our region with the most reports this year of phone scammers pretending to be from Consumers Energy:
- Kent: 124 calls, $7,061 paid
- Allegan: 33 calls, $1,750 paid
Source: Consumers Energy One Energy Plaza Jackson, MI 49201
For more information on senior scams and elder abuse, visit the Kent County Elder Abuse Coalition at www.protectkentseniors.org
What is the Michigan CARE Act
The Senate Health Policy Committee passed the Michigan CARE Act, which will help Michigan's 2 million caregivers. The bill now will go to the Senate floor.
Click here to read an article in the Lansing State Journal by Kari Sederburg, Executive Director of the Aging & Adult Services Agency at the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services for more information on the CARE Act and how it will benefit caregivers and those receiving care.
Paul Willis, AAAWM Financial Director, To Retire
AAAWM Financial Director Paul Willis will retire at the end of 2015 after 16 years with the agency.
"Paul has significantly improved our budgeting process and our finance department has grown stronger under his direction," says Tom Czerwinski, AAAWM Executive Director. "Paul will be greatly missed and we wish him the best in his retirement."
Dan Travis will assume the role of Financial Director on January 1, 2016. "Dan has worked as the Assistant Finance Director under Paul for six years and is well prepared to take over these new responsibilities," says Czerwinski.
"Due to Paul's dedication and hard work, the agency is in a strong financial position and I'm confident Dan will continue in this same capacity."
Office Closed for Thanksgiving
AAAWM will be closed Thursday, November 26 through Friday, November 27, 2015 for the Thanksgiving holiday. We will re-open on Monday, November 30, 2015. We hope you have a safe holiday and encourage you to thank a family caregiver this season for the dedication they have to helping seniors and individuals with disabilities in our community.