Here’s another reason to have a sit-down with your elderly relatives and make them promise that if they ever, ever find out they’ve won some money in a lottery they didn’t enter, they should tell family members immediately.
Yesterday, Consumer Reports noted that an anti-health reform politician is trying to convince senior citizens that they’ll be required to take lessons in euthanasia if any reform is passed. Regardless of what side you come down on with health care reform, this is flat out wrong. We care about this lie, which is still bouncing around the media, because it might interfere with the very real and useful tasks of setting up living wills and determining health care proxies—things that matter to both the elderly and the terminally ill.
A manager at Chemical Bank in Midland, Michigan, grew suspicious when he saw Marion Case, an 80-year-old customer, withdraw $25k from her account last December. Case told him she was going to mail it to someone who would then pass it along to her son. The manager, Carl Ahearn, “remained suspicious. He followed her as she walked to the nearby post office, where Case bought an Express Mail envelope addressed to a man in New Jersey. Ahearn shared his concerns with postal officials, who opened an investigation and arrested a man Monday for fraud.”
If you live near Burke, Virginia, you might want to pay close attention when the contractor hired by Comcast comes to install your service. Rick runs a computer repair company and has twice run into the same problem with Comcast customers, where they can no longer access the Internet after an upgrade and are offered an off-the-books repair service.
Sprightly old people rock. This 78-year-old woman pursued and helped catch an armed robber in the parking lot of a mall on Long Island, NY. You can’t hide from old ladies in a PC Richard, purse snatchers of the world. [Newsday]
Maybe it was the hooch, or maybe it was the fact that he was missing his TMZ, but a 70-year-old man in Missouri was arrested yesterday for unlawful use of a firearm after he shot up his TV. According to Minneapolis/St. Paul news station KARE11, he “was angry that he had lost his cable, and was unable to get his new DTV converter to work properly.” According to his wife, he had been drinking.
Of all the unusual gifts you can give Mom or Dad this holiday season, none would be more surprising than a simple card saying, “We’re putting you in a home.” Just make sure you don’t pick a bad one, because nearly a quarter of nursing homes were rated “much below average” in a new monthly federal evaluation.
The commercial says you can win a free Craftmatic bed, but all you’re likely to win is a salesman worming his way into your home. An Inside Edition investigation revealed some shady high-pressure tactics by Craftmatic bed salesmen targeting the elderly. Typical sales tactics involve starting with a high price, $5,000 and then using a series of phony price drops to get the person to buy today. The salespeople say the bed is so great that it will solve acid reflux and heart disease! And at a seminar where you learn to be a better Craftmatic bed salesperson, a hidden camera showed instructor Carolyn Nilson talking about the lengths she would go to to close a deal, saying “I’ve done it all. Dug checks out of the garbage that they didn’t shred…reactivated credit cards, gone to the bank.” Most contests are just “lead-generation” opportunities for the businesses. Warn elderly friends and family about the sleazy tactics of the Crapmatic sales force.
If you’re a freelancer, or work for a small company, or for some other reason don’t have a healthy start on a retirement plan, Smart Money has some suggestions for how to jump-start your investment before you hit your golden years.
If you wanna make an omelet, you gotta break a few eggs—even if those eggs are old people who die from bedsores that have become infected. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services say that on average, patients at nursing homes that are bought by private investment firms do worse than those at other nursing homes, with higher rates of depression, increased loss of mobility, and less ability to dress and bathe themselves. The New York Times has a horror story on 48 Florida nursing homes where staff was reduced to levels below mandatory requirements and didn’t repair equipment or keep facilities sanitary. Even senior activities were reduced. And there are thousands of (now profitable) nursing homes across the country that are owned by private investment companies.
You may already know about WIC—”Women, Infants, and Children,” the government program that provides nutritional assistance to “low-income pregnant, breastfeeding, and non-breastfeeding postpartum women,” and to their children up to age five. But a lot of people don’t know that if you receive WIC or if you’re a low-income senior, you may also qualify for their farmers market program, which means you can take advantage of the same fresh-from-the-farm bounty as those coke-snorting yuppies who’ll buy anything with the word “heirloom” stamped across it.
Washington Mutual Fraud Department Doesn't Feel Like Reimbursing Elderly Parents Defrauded For $1,100
I am writing this note today on behalf of my 80 year old parents who have been banking with Washington Mutual. My parents account has had 10 forged checks passed on their 3 of their bank accounts. The fraud department has reimbursed one of the accounts for 2 checks after faxing a copy of the police report. However, today, after 20 days now, the fraud department has not reimbursed the other accounts. I have called fraud department many times now in an effort to recapture these funds in the amount of $1,100.00. Quite frankly the department was very rude and has been giving my parents the run around!
Son Keeps Retired Mother From Boiling In Atlanta By Beseeching WaMu Executive Customer Service For Overdraft Mercy
“I’m not quite sure how my almost-septuagenarian, fastidious, wheelchair-bound, Social Security Disability-stipend mother did it, but she forgot to list a large utilities check in her register and managed to spend over $400 that she didn’t have. For a total of TWENTY overdraft and NSF charges (at $32 a charge). Between the overdrafts, the unpaid checks (and the bounce fees on the payee side of the equation), she’s managed to tally up more than $1800 in unforeseen debt in the last two weeks. She only gets about $1000 a month, and her last check was deposited before we knew how much trouble she was in, paying this emergency debt down to about $-330 in her checking account and $500 in outstanding bounced checks and fees, and leaving her no money for utilities and no friends or relatives to beg for help from…”