Family hits the links on The Longest Day to fight Alzheimer’s disease – Optimum Senior Care – Chicago In Home Caregivers

Family hits the links on The Longest Day to fight Alzheimer’s disease –  Optimum Senior Care – Chicago In Home Caregivers

Today is The Longest Day®, and thousands of participants are doing an activity they love to raise funds and awareness to help end Alzheimer’s disease. In 2013, Mickey Wakely was diagnosed with younger-onset Alzheimer’s at age 55. His family wanted to find a way to fight back and to include Mickey; a golf tournament in his honor on The Longest Day was a choice that accomplished both.

Our Longest Day is spent playing golf, my husband Mickey’s favorite sport, which he grew up enjoying with his dad.

In 2013, at age 55, Mickey was diagnosed with early-onset (also known as younger-onset) Alzheimer’s disease. Our family wanted to find a way to fight back, and we wanted to include Mickey in whatever we did. A golf tournament in his honor on The Longest Day was the best – and most obvious – choice! 

Today marks our third annual “Mickey’s Mania” Golf Classic. Our friends will come from far (and not so far) to join us for a great day of fun, laughter, food and libations. Everyone is here because they know that even after Mickey is gone, there will be people who need caregiver support and resources from the Alzheimer’s Association – and we raise funds and awareness in honor of his amazing fight.

We started the day by setting up signs acknowledging our donors and supporters; as the players make their way through the 18 holes, they will see all the people who were crucial to putting this event together – and there are so many.

Players arrived bright and early at 7 a.m. to pick up their goody bags – of course wearing hats monogrammed with our “Mickey’s Mania” logo – and then enjoyed a breakfast assortment of traditional San Antonio breakfast tacos; these delicious essentials are crucial to powering through the long day ahead! As the players lined up, I reminded them that we are here to rejoice in life – making this day, The Longest Day, the best day ever.

Mickey has almost been in tears as he greets old friends he hasn’t seen in some time, along with people we don’t even know who showed up to play golf today and support the fight.  He asks: “Is this all for me?!”  I tell him yes, it is – for him and the millions of others living with Alzheimer’s disease.

As each team finishes their round, they make their way to the silent auction. Then The Kimberly Dunn Band entertains us through lunch, as they’ve done for the past two years.

Shortly, the top three teams will be awarded prizes and the winning team will be awarded the coveted monogrammed “Purple Jacket”, much in the style of the green Master’s tournament jacket given to the pros. As the players eat, our family will stop at each table, thanking everyone for coming. We are already a little sunburned, but it has all been worth it!

My favorite part of The Longest Day is driving in the golf cart and seeing each team as they play. Some people have run up to hug me or introduce themselves, and as always, this day will result in so many wonderful memories and photos. Mickey really enjoys looking at the pictures from the last two years of the event on our wall at home even though he can’t remember the celebrations. I am lucky to have my memories from each of those amazing days.

We won’t have the final numbers for few days, but our hope is always to raise more than the previous year. To date, our efforts have raised more than $50,000 for the Alzheimer’s Association; we hope that the numbers this year will exceed that, making it a record year for Mickey’s Mania.

Alzheimer’s is a cruel disease, and we wonder if Mickey will be here for next year’s tournament, which we are already in the midst of planning. As scary as that thought is, what we don’t have to wonder about is our commitment to this cause. Our family will continue to raise funds until our task is finished, and a cure is found – eradicating Alzheimer’s disease for good.

About the Author: Together with her family and friends, Jane Wakely is participating in Alzheimer’s Association The Longest Day® on June 21, 2017, to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s care, support and research. You can visit Jane’s team page here.

NEW: $50,000 Matching Gift Opportunity – Alzheimer’s Association – Optimum Senior Care – Chicago In Home Caregivers

NEW: $50,000 Matching Gift Opportunity – Alzheimer’s Association – Optimum Senior Care – Chicago In Home Caregivers

We are nearing the end of Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month, and I’m excited to tell you about one more incredible opportunity from a family foundation to double the impact of your support for those affected by Alzheimer’s disease.
During Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month, this family foundation, which wishes to remain anonymous, has generously pledged to sponsor a $50,000 matching gift challenge.
This means when you make a gift to the Alzheimer’s Association today, your gift can be matched to make twice the impact on the millions of people affected by the disease.
Your gift of $35 can become $70, a gift of $60 can become $120, or your especially generous gift of $120 can become $240. Your support can go twice as far to provide care and support services and advance critical research.
Everyone who has a brain is at risk to develop Alzheimer’s, a fatal disease that is often misunderstood. In these final days of June, please help by raising awareness of Alzheimer’s and its impact on individuals and families nationwide — and by taking action.
More than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s, and over 15 million are acting as their caregivers, making your tax-deductible gift in recognition of Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month critically important. Please make your generous donation by June 30. Thank you.
P.S. Please make a generous gift during Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month while your gift can go twice as far.

Your donation will strengthen our efforts to advance Alzheimer’s care, support and research. From face-to-face support to online education programs and promising global research initiatives, your gift makes a difference in the lives of all those affected by Alzheimer’s and other dementias in your community and across the world. Thank you for your continued support.

ONE DAY ONLY: Make 2x the impact on The Longest Day – Alzheimer’s Association – Optimum Senior Care – Chicago In Home Caregivers

ONE DAY ONLY: Make 2x the impact on The Longest Day – Alzheimer’s Association – Optimum Senior Care – Chicago In Home Caregivers

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You can make TWICE the impact on The Longest Day.
$35 ? $70
$60 ? $120
$120 ? $240

I have very exciting news. In recognition of The Longest Day®, a special day to raise funds and awareness in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease, loyal supporter Dale Hastings is sponsoring a one-day only, $25,000 matching gift challenge.
Right now, people across the world are doing what they love on The Longest Day to benefit the care, support and research efforts of the Alzheimer’s Association. And Dale has stepped forward to honor his beloved wife, Janet, who died in 2011 from Alzheimer’s.
“I started giving to the Association in hopes of finding a cure someday — and so that other families affected by Alzheimer’s won’t have to go through the hurt and pain that I endured,” he explained.
Thanks to Dale’s matching gift challenge, your tax-deductible donation of $35 can become $70 — or your especially generous gift of $60 can become $120. Any amount you give on The Longest Day can go twice as far to further our mission to eliminate Alzheimer’s through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health.
This match offer is only available until midnight tonight — so please help us celebrate this day that’s all about love by donating to this incredible matching gift challenge. Thank you.
Gratefully,

Donna McCullough
Chief Development Officer
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P.S. Today only: Please help us take advantage of this special $25,000 matching gift challenge. Make a generous donation on The Longest Day. Thank you.

Your donation will strengthen our efforts to advance Alzheimer’s care, support and research. From face-to-face support to online education programs and promising global research initiatives, your gift makes a difference in the lives of all those affected by Alzheimer’s and other dementias in your community and across the world. Thank you for your continued support.

Alzheimer’s Association National Office, 225 N. Michigan Ave., Fl. 17, Chicago, IL 60601
© 2017 Alzheimer’s Association. All rights reserved.
800.272.3900 | alz.org® | Donate
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HURRY: Match ends at midnight -Alzheimer’s Association – Optimum Senior Care – Chicago In Home Caregivers

HURRY: Match ends at midnight -Alzheimer’s Association – Optimum Senior Care – Chicago In Home Caregivers

Time is running out and I wanted to make sure you saw my email about this incredible matching gift challenge on The Longest Day®. Please don’t miss this special opportunity for your gift to go twice as far to further care and support and advance critical research in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease.
-Donna

Your gift can go twice as far.

Having trouble reading this email?
View it in your browser

You can make TWICE the impact on The Longest Day.
$35 ? $70
$60 ? $120
$120 ? $240

I have very exciting news. In recognition of The Longest Day, a special day to raise funds and awareness in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease, loyal supporter Dale Hastings is sponsoring a one-day only, $25,000 matching gift challenge.
Right now, people across the world are doing what they love on The Longest Day to benefit the care, support and research efforts of the Alzheimer’s Association. And Dale has stepped forward to honor his beloved wife, Janet, who died in 2011 from Alzheimer’s.
“I started giving to the Association in hopes of finding a cure someday — and so that other families affected by Alzheimer’s won’t have to go through the hurt and pain that I endured,” he explained.
Thanks to Dale’s matching gift challenge, your tax-deductible donation of $35 can become $70 — or your especially generous gift of $60 can become $120. Any amount you give on The Longest Day can go twice as far to further our mission to eliminate Alzheimer’s through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health.
This match offer is only available until midnight tonight — so please help us celebrate this day that’s all about love by donating to this incredible matching gift challenge. Thank you.

Financial Abuse of Older Adults – – Optimum Senior Care – Chicago In Home Caregivers

Financial Abuse of Older Adults – – Optimum Senior Care – Chicago In Home Caregivers

Recognize the red flags of financial elder abuse. A landmark study by MetLife Mature Market Institute stated that 51% of financial abuse was perpetrated by strangers, 34% by family and friends.

Financial Abuse of Older Adults: Recognizing the Red Flags

The growing financial exploitation of seniors involves their income, assets, property, and personal possessions. It comes in the way of theft, fraud, forgery, improper use of a power of attorney, identity theft, and/or undue influence. It is often accompanied with verbal threats and physical abuse.

Financial abuse is the theft or conversion of money or other property by caregivers, relatives, friends, or others in positions of trust.

Just how big a problem is it? In 2011, a landmark study by MetLife Mature Market Institute stated that 51 percent of financial abuse was perpetrated by strangers, 34 percent by family and friends and that 60 percent of the perpetrators were males between the ages of thirty and fifty-nine.

In early 2015, the TrueLink Report on Elder Financial Abuse determined that the cost to seniors through all financial abuse was approximately $36.5 billion annually with 36.9 percent of all seniors over a five-year period having been subjected to financial exploitation—6.9 percent experienced a loss of $10,000 or more with the average being $52,300, and 1.8 percent lost their homes or other major assets. Average losses were:

  • Exploitation – $2,617
  • Identity theft – $7,633
  • Criminal fraud – $13,107
  • Con artists – $13,225
  • Caregivers – $26,879

Different studies have varying numbers about the extent of these crimes and who is committing them. Regardless, the problem is a big one. Unfortunately, there is no nationwide tracking system to determine the exact extent of financial abuse to seniors. Nonetheless, these kinds of numbers have gotten the attention of lawmakers and regulators. In 2012, Health and Human Services Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius, announced an effort to coordinate the various programs within the federal government, and asked that it be led by the department of Justice (DOJ) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

Over the past few years, many states have been beefing up the laws on financial abuse of older adults. The National Association of State Securities Administrators (NASSA) in early 2016 proposed a state model bill that is slowly gaining acceptance. In 2015, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) proposed a rule that would allow broker-dealer firms to put temporary holds on accounts where there is a concern about suspicious activity. Last year, Rick Fleming, head of the SEC’s Office of Investor Advocate, asked, “More specifically, should federal law allow a financial advisor to refuse or delay a transaction—contrary to the explicit instructions of the client—when it appears that the client is being defrauded or exploited?”

The National Adult Protective Services Association (NAPSA) states that the typical victim of financial abuse is a white female between the ages of seventy and eighty-nine, who is likely frail and/or cognitively impaired and lives alone. Of the abusers, 90 percent are family members or trusted others. The Statistic Brain Research Institute estimates that there are 2.15 million cases of senior abuse each year, affecting about 1 in 10 seniors with 12.3 percent of these cases being financial abuse.

Identifying the Abusers

Just who does the abusing? It can be almost anyone, and often it is the one you would least suspect. Family members, friends, and caregivers are at the forefront. They may have financial problems, substance abuse issues, or a gambling habit. But it can also be professionals and businesses who gain the confidence of an older person and then overcharge for services or sell unnecessary or inappropriate products.

If Abuse Is Suspected

If someone is in immediate danger,
call 911.

To report elder abuse, contact the Adult Protective Services (APS) agency in the state where the victim resides. You can find the APS reporting number for each state by visiting:

Source: Administration for Community Living

A 2012 survey by Investors Protection Trust found that most financial abuse goes unreported primarily because of embarrassment on the part of the victim, but also because the children fail to identify the problem or do something about it. However, the harm is not just financial—it affects the person’s physical and mental health. Due to a lack of funds, 6.7 percent of those who are financially abused cut back on their medical care, and 954,000 are skipping meals, thus causing nutritional issues. Further, there can be a loss of a personal sense of well-being, depression, hopelessness, loss of trust in others, loss of security, and a need to rely on government safety-net programs.

Professional advisers are in a unique position to identify seniors who are being financially abused. They should look for telltale signs of changes in the person’s personal and financial behavior. Often, seniors give hints about financial abuse when they talk about giving gifts or loans to others, changing their will or estate plan, having trouble paying their bills, difficulty making financial decisions, their financial advisor not returning their calls, making large cash withdrawals, or evidence they are being physically abused.

Advisers can help older adults avoid financial exploitation before it happens in many ways. Counsel them to get multiple estimates from several reputable contractors before having work done to their property. Tell them it is important to get a second opinion before making any financial decisions. Advise them to do research on any advisors to determine their credibility and regulatory history. Having acronyms after an advisor’s name may look impressive, but unlike the CSA designation, for example, many are simply not credible.

Most financial abuse comes with intimidation and fear. Often, fraudulent and deceptive acts are accompanied with the perpetrator expressing the immediacy of action to do it now or else the offer will not be available. The abuser will often try to coax the senior to just sign the form without giving them a chance to read it, or perhaps before it’s completed. They’ll also try to get important numbers like the information on a credit or debit card, including the PIN, bank information, or ask for the Social Security or Medicare numbers. There is no end to their ingenuity.

Sometimes door-to-door salespeople are selling insurance products, so-called investments that provide higher income, as well as common items like magazines, knives, vacuum cleaners, and so on that the older adult really doesn’t need or want. High pressure tactics are employed which can border on intimidation.

What are some of the more prevalent forms of financial abuse? At the family or friend level, it often starts with simple acts such as asking for a small loan or gift. This escalates into bigger and more frequent requests for money. It is not unusual for the family ember to have a sense of entitlement to the money because they are taking care of the parent, or because they are going to inherit the assets anyway. If the senior becomes reluctant to provide them with money, then verbal or physical abuse may ensue.

Trusted professionals can also be involved in financial abuse. For example, a lawyer recommends a living trust when a simple will is all that is needed. An accountant recommends making themselves the financial guardian and then pilfers the accounts for personal use. The financial advisor sells annuities with high commissions and surrender charges, instead of an annuity that is in the best interest of the older client. These are just a few examples of so-called professionals taking advantage.

Anyone who uses the Internet can be subject to emails that make an effort to have them part with their money. It could be about winning a foreign lottery where a small processing fee and one’s Social Security number is needed to verify the winnings. The same approach is used with “winners” of phony sweepstakes.

The telephone is also used by unscrupulous predators. In a current national scam, a caller claims to be from the IRS and informs the senior that if they do not pay purported outstanding taxes immediately, they will be arrested. The IRS does not call taxpayers to collect taxes, nor do they do it through emails.

Another common approach is for the caller to claim to be from a large, well-known computer company that has been monitoring the older person’s computer, and the computer is suspected of having a virus. For a small fee they can “fix” the computer online. When the victim logs on to a bogus website, the thieves grab all sorts of information from the computer, including contact information, passwords, banking information, and so on. A more ominous approach is when the thief will load software that locks the victim’s computer and a ransom is demanded to unlock it.

The “Grandparent Scam” is also very popular. In these instances, the caller will often have information about another family member that makes the senior think it is their family member that is calling. The caller will pretend to be the family member who was just in an accident, was arrested, had their wallet stolen, or lost their passport. They need money and they need it NOW! They just need to use the senior’s credit card, or perhaps a wire transfer from the senior’s bank account.

Sometimes it’s the senior’s financial advisor who is approached by these criminals. The advisor will receive an email that speaks to the need to send money right away for a purchase that was just made, to pay some unexpected bills, to pay for a grandchild’s education, or they are traveling and need extra money. The list is endless. The email will say they have lost their cell phone so they can’t be reached, or it will give an unknown number to call to verify the request. The email may actually be the senior’s email address that has been hijacked, or it might be very close to the real email address but be off by one letter. Every financial advisor should have procedures in place to address these situations. At a minimum, they should call the client at a known telephone number to verify any request directly.

The issue of financial abuse is not going away any time soon. As baby boomers age, the mere size of this cohort will increase in magnitude of financial abuse to seniors. When working with older adults, professionals must be aware of the potential signs of financial abuse against their clients.

– By Ray Ferrara

Ray Ferrara is Chairman and CEO of ProVise Management Group, LLC, in Clearwater, Florida, a full-service financial planning firm that is a Registered Investment Advisor with the Securities and Exchange Commission. A Certified Financial Planner, he served on the Board of Directors for the CFP Board of Standards and was Chair of the Board in 2014.

Contact him at 727-441-9022, ferrara@provise.com, or visit www.provise.com.