Archive for August, 2012

Senior Fraud Prevention

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

With technology becoming more and more integrated with our everyday lives, the growing occurrence of senior scams is a problem that puts many older adults in harm’s way. Scams have always been a problem and seniors have always been a target because they are isolated, less mobile, possibly lonely, and generally have property, life savings and other assets.

We’ve found an all-inclusive Senior Fraud Protection Kit that has a number of good resources to help keep you informed on the dangers of scams and what you can do to prevent them from happening.

While this guide contains a lot of valuable information, we’ve pulled the top tips that you should follow. Please be advised: These tips aren’t foolproof but, if followed, should greatly reduce the chances of fraud.

– Never provide information or transact business in a phone call that you did not initiate without verifying the authenticity of the caller.

– Obtain the salesperson’s name, business identity, telephone number, street address and mailing address before you give information or transact business.

– Tell the salesperson you have to talk to your son or daughter and ask for a call back number. Scammers will generally have no call back number or the line will be dead.

– If you are convinced that the call is real, have them verify the payment amount and ask them about their cancellation policy. A real business will have no trouble answering these questions.

– Some scammers say they are law enforcement officials over the phone and they are trying to solve a crime that involves you. Police will always contact you in person.

– NEVER give out your social security number or even the last 4 digits to an unknown person or business.

– ONLY provide your social security number to business that you are already working with.

– In regards to health-care fraud, a scammer will call and ask for your Medicare card number so they can send your supplies via mail. Be sure to get verification of the company they work for and that it matches with your current provider.

– Check with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) before you act upon a phone call or piece of mail.

– Add yourself to the nation Do-Not-Call Registry to avoid potential scams and solicitation.

– Don’t respond to request, offer or free gift if it involves paying charges or other fees up front.

– If you’re not sure, just hang up. There is nothing wrong with just saying, No thank you, and hanging up the phone if you are being pressured, are unsure, or are just uncomfortable.

The FBI also provides valuable information about seniors being fraud targets. They explain how to spot the most common senior scams and provide tips on how to prepare for them and more importantly how to avoid them.

Despite scams becoming more and more common, staying informed and staying prepared can help you avoid trouble and stay safe.

Share

Organic Food and Antioxidants

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

A recent study conducted at the University of Barcelona found that organically grown tomatoes contain higher levels of antioxidants than conventionally grown tomatoes. These antioxidants, polyphenols, are associated with the prevention of cardiovascular and degenerative diseases and some forms of cancer.

The study has many people talking about how other kinds of organically grown food may contain higher levels of antioxidants than their conventionally grown counterparts. Organic farming doesn’t use nitrogenous fertilizers, which forces plants to activate their own defense mechanism: more antioxidants.

We decided to share some resources so you can learn more about organic foods and which ones have the most antioxidants to keep you healthy.

Organic Authority provides more information about antioxidants and organic food, and gives a brief shopping guide to get you started. This next resource highlights fruits and vegetables that are highest in antioxidants, while Heart Healthy Living provides the top 10 antioxidant foods.

Be sure to explore all of the different options to find out your favorite source of antioxidants.

Eating Chocolate Can Boost Brain Health

Thursday, August 16th, 2012

Everyone loves when they discover that their favorite food is healthy. Lucky for everyone, the more we learn about chocolate the healthier it seems to be.

In 2007, a study was done that showed how antioxidants in chocolate called flavanols could benefit the brain. In this study, drinking just one drink of flavanol-rich cocoa led to increased blood flow, and therefore more oxygen, in key areas of the brain.

A new study that was just released supported the findings and then some. It found that drinking more flavanol-rich cocoa led to higher scores on tests of attention and other mental skills.

While they remind us that more studies still need to be done, head researcher Dr. Giovambattista Desideri said, “This study provides encouraging evidence that consuming cocoa flavanols, as part of a calories controlled and nutritionally balanced diet, could improve cognitive function”

So go ahead and eat a little more chocolate with no extra guilt, so long as you maintain a healthy lifestyle.

LifeStation is Here to Help

Wednesday, August 8th, 2012

LifeStation recently got a post on our Facebook page from Michael S., a caregiver who purchased the system for his dad. Michael mentioned that his dad was hesitant to push the button when he needed help. This is not the first time that we have heard this from a caregiver.

When the LifeStation monitoring center receives an emergency signal, often the person on the other side apologizes for pushing their medical alarm button. No one should EVER apologize for pushing their help button.

There does not have to be a dire emergency for users to push their buttons. In fact, LifeStation encourages our customers to push their button every month just to ensure that everything is working properly. If users are unsure what to do, they should push their buttons.

Feeling dizzy or light headed? Sit down, and push the button.
Having trouble catching your breath? Again, sit down and push the button.
Slip and fall but don’t know if you’re seriously injured? Push the button.

Some people believe that pushing their emergency help button will automatically result in EMS coming to your house with sirens blaring. However, this isn’t the case.

When you push your help button, LifeStation Care Specialists will assess the situation, and then take appropriate action. Let them help you decide if you want them to call your friends, neighbors or loved ones. If the need arises they will call EMS to make sure that you have everything you need.

In all instances you are better off pushing your help button and letting the LifeStation Care Specialists do their jobs, even if it is just to offer a reassuring word.