Reimagine Aging News: October 2015

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The 2015 Key Community Partner Awards Luncheon will be held October 23.

Join us to celebrate and support Senior Community Service's vital mission to help older adults and caregivers maintain independence.

Know someone with home maintenance needs? 

Chore services may be purchased through Senior Community Services' 

HOME store.

Protecting Seniors from Fraud

Dwight, 74, is more cautious now after being stung by a classified advertisement he saw in an online magazine. The ad promised $100 in legal currency for $50. Dwight (naively) felt it was a good deal so he dashed off a check for $50 and mailed it to a post office box in Colorado. Soon, an official looking envelope arrived and Dwight tore it open to find several bills. He was ecstatic, until he took a closer look. He'd received Portuguese escudo notes. A quick trip to the bank revealed his currency was equivalent to about one U.S. dollar. Dwight's dream deal had turned into a nightmare.
Many too-good-to-be true schemes arrive via the internet and telephone, and trusting seniors are often easy targets. They grew up in an era when people were more trusting and could take someone at their word.
But criminals are creative and know how to manipulate older adults. They may call pretending to be a government representative, accusing the senior of failing to show up for jury duty, or reporting there's a warrant out for their arrest. Out of fear, the senior may relinquish their social security number and other private information. Then, the scammer has information to create a false identity for profit.
Consumers in all fifty states have received phone calls from criminals purporting to be IRS agents. They charge the senior has unpaid back taxes which, if not paid, will result in arrest, a lawsuit, or suspension of their driver's license.
That's why it’s important for seniors to file a tax return annually, even if their earnings are under the income limit for filing. In 2013, the IRS sent out almost three million fraudulent refunds to con artists who had filed returns in the names of unwitting consumers. If you file a return, it's easier for the IRS to discover fraudulent returns filed under the same name.
It's important to protect confidential information. Trusting seniors may have private information readily available and ripe for the picking by unsavory service workers.
The theft of sensitive information can be the start of a troubling and frustrating case of identity theft.
With so much shopping being done online, it's vital for family and caregivers to help track purchases and payments made by seniors. If some credit card payments are suspect, call the credit card company to report the fraudulent charge and have it removed from the bill. Be sure to ask for a replacement credit card with a new number.
The obituary scam is especially shameful. Con artists scour newspapers online and call family members demanding money for a supposed debt that the deceased left behind. Another version targets widows who answer the doorbell to find a fake delivery person holding a box supposedly ordered by the deceased. The widow pays and receives the package, and upon opening discovers a brick or equally useless old magazines and newspapers.
Be watchful and ready to help if seniors you know are targeted. Talk with them about how they may become easy prey. It's a good way to Reimagine Aging and save some of the billions of dollars annually lost to fraud.


Deb Taylor
Chief Executive Officer 

CEO Deb Taylor’s monthly column, which is published in many Minnesota newspapers, focuses on how we can Reimagine Aging to better serve seniors and their caregivers. The most recent newspaper column is available here.

If you know of a caregiver or older adult who would benefit from Senior Community Services' many supportive programs and services, please encourage them to contact us. They can stay connected with us by doing three things: 'LIKE' us on FACEBOOK, 'FOLLOW' us on TWITTER, and subscribe to our monthly e-newsletter here.

“I highly recommend Senior Community Services to everyone. Your organization is so desperately needed because I’m sure there are others, just like me, who don’t understand the process and need assistance."  

- Tammy Hughes

Medicare Counselor is Lifesaver for Senior Navigating Medicare Maze

When Tammy Hughes retired in October 2013, she was immediately overwhelmed with Medicare and health insurance options. She applied for social security and began looking into supplemental and part D insurance, but had no idea where to begin, given all the choices confronting her.
Fortunately, a family member had a solution. Tammy was referred to the Medicare & Health Insurance Counseling program at Senior Community Services. Carla, a volunteer Medicare Counselor, was a lifesaver for Tammy. She met with Tammy at her home and patiently went through the process with Tammy to ensure that she understood the decisions that were being made. She guided Tammy who was able to find a plan that covers her expensive prescriptions.
Thanks to Carla and the Medicare & Health Insurance Counseling program, Tammy was able to find the best coverage for her needs. “I highly recommend Senior Community Services to everyone,” says Tammy, “Your organization is so desperately needed because I’m sure there are others, just like me, who don’t understand the process and need assistance."  

For more information, please visit


"The programs they offer...are just what seniors need."


- Marvin Johnson

Hennepin County farmer Marvin Johnson has served as mayor of Independence for 36 years. In his official capacity, he's seen many senior care organizations serving older adults in his community. "I've always looked, with a critical eye, for duplication of services by organizations, but Senior Community Services has always done good work not being done by others. The programs they offer, especially the Medicare education program and the Household and Outside Maintenance for Elderly program are just what seniors need," Marvin says.
Stewardship is a big priority with Marvin. As a donor, he wants to ensure his charitable donations are being wisely used. "I have the height of confidence in the leadership and staff of Senior Community Services."
Marvin has served as a member of Senior Community Services' board of directors for a decade and enjoys seeing regular newspaper columns by Executive Director Deb Taylor. "It's wonderful to see all the visibility about important senior issues."

Photo Courtesy of The Laker & The Pioneer Newspaper
Senior Community Services relies upon community generosity to sustain our mission.  Please consider a financial gift today and help make life healthier, more engaging and vital for those older adults in our lives.

Thank you for making a difference in the lives of seniors.

Honor a friend or loved one with a tax-deductible gift to Senior Community Services.Your gift of $35, $60, $150 or an amount of your choosing will make life better for low-income seniors who need help maintaining independence.

You may give securely online at and click on Support.
Checks may be mailed to: 
Senior Community Services
Attn: Development 

10201 Wayzata Blvd. Suite 335
Minnetonka, MN 55305

Stay Connected With CareNextion

Are you caring for an aging loved one? Stay connected to caregiving from anywhere with This free and secure online tool strengthens support networks through centralized coordination of care, task assignment and journaling.

You can also access helpful resources. Visit for more information or to speak with a staff person call 612-770-7005.

The Reimagine Aging Institute is the public awareness arm of Senior Community Services as we reach out to the community via the news media.  Through the Institute, we illuminate aging issues of broad relevance for seniors, their families, and Minnesota communities.

Visit the Institute's web page here.  And be sure to watch for media stories of interest to families with older loved ones and friends.

See you online!

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