Consumer Fraud and Elders
Sunday Issues Links: 23 November 2008

This Week in Elder News: 22 November 2008

In this regular weekend feature you will find links to news items from the preceding week related to elders and aging, along with whatever else catches my fancy that I think you might like to know. Suggestions are welcome with, however, no promises of publication.

Following on yesterday’s post on the fraud services of the Federal Trade Commission, the agency also maintains the Who Cares? website with information and links to other sources for elders and their caregivers on a variety of topics: generic drugs, hormone therapies, hiring caregivers, medical ID theft, hearing aids and alternative treatment. All this information is available online in downloadable pdf format and also in print, which can be ordered by calling 1.877.382.4357.

We know that the economic crisis has hit elders hard as their retirement savings dwindle. Now there is word that the housing crisis is hitting them too. Because their homes are not selling, they can't make needed moves into retirement communities and assisted living. Read more here.

Although a couple of these suggestions are specific to desert country, firefighter and EMS worker Bill Wilson has an excellent checklist to help keep elders healthy and safe through winter.

A 44-year-old Toronto stripper has filed an discrimination suit against her former employer charging that she was fired because of her age. “The job, says Kimberlee Ouwroulis, “is partially about looks, partially about personality and attitude, all of which helped me to be a good dancer.” Read more here and here.

There is an excellent story in The New York Times about how serious even minor falls can be to elders, and should be taken as seriously, says one researcher, as diabetes. They can be an indication of other treatable conditions such as low blood pressure, declining vision, heart arythmia. In one study, preventative measures such as changes in medication and physical therapy reduced falls by 11 percent.

The 5.8 percent COLA increase in Social Security for next year is good news in hard times, but a study from Senior Citizen League finds that elder buying power has decreased since 2000 by 51 percent, most of it due to the rising cost of necessities. Read more here.

For years, we’ve been hearing about kids living at home with their parents until they are well into their thirties. Now, there may be a reverse trend: in 2007, 3.6 million parents were living with their adult children, up 67 percent since 2000 - some is due to difficult economic times and some, says one researcher, is due to closer family ties. It sounds like life was when I was a kid. Read more here.

For those elders who don’t live with family, this may be an idea whose time has come: reverse 911. A town in Ohio is seeking funds to set up a system to check in with elders and disabled people who live alone to be sure they are okay. Read more about how it would work.

An alarming international study reports that “more than half of Americans with chronic illnesses did not fill prescriptions, skipped doses of their medications, or didn't see a doctor for a medical problem because they could not afford to." Although patients in other countries reported other kinds of problems with their medical system, Americans appear to be at higher risk due to coverage gaps and poorly organized care. Find out more here. (Hat tip to Miki Davis of Mountain Mama Radio)

Hats Off is a new film documentary about part-time actress, Mimi Weddell, an extraordinary and eccentric 92-year-old. You can read more about Mimi and the film, and here’s the trailer. (Hat tip to Marion Dent of And the BeatGoes On)


Mimi Weddell and "Hats Off" director, Jyll Johnstone, were interviewed on "Experience Talks," a Los Angeles-based radio show that airs on KPKF-FM. The podcast can be heard here. Just scroll down to the May 6, 2008, show. It's very entertaining!

Reverse 911 - we have systems like this already in the UK, although not all of them do regular checks. Most provide emergency call out with an intercom connection.

See here for example

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