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LGBTQ+ Elders Day May 16th

Today is National Honor Our LGBTQ+ Elders Day. There are many ways to celebrate this important occasion, but here at CCSLS we are sharing this important guest column from Ari Lazarus of the Federal Trade Commission #OlderAmericansMonth.

Honor LGBTQ+ Elders Day – Pass it on

Today is National Honor Our LGBTQ+ Elders Day. There are many ways to celebrate this important occasion, but here at the FTC, we’re focusing on helping LGBTQ+ elders avoid frauds and scams — and we hope you can pitch in too.

Research shows that people who know about scams are less likely to engage with scammers and less likely to lose money. Older American’s Month and National Honor Our LGBTQ+ Elders Day are two great reasons to share what you know about spotting and avoiding scams with friends, family, and people in your own community. Sharing what you know can help protect someone who you know from losing money to a scam.

Not sure where to start? Check out the FTC’s Pass it On campaign for ideas, and then tell people where to find resources.

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May 10, 2022 – National Clean Your Room Day

It’s National Clean Your Room Day!  It’s important to maintain your living area clean not only for peace of mind, but also for safety.

Clutter in your home may even pose problems for seniors in creating a risk of falling or other fall-related injuries.  You can contact the Meals on Wheels Diablo Region for a Fall Prevention risk assessment.   This service is free for eligible seniors and includes a screening, education, evidence-based exercise classes and home safety modifications.

For organization of your living space, you can follow the popular Home Edit method, which focuses on four steps: edit, categorize, contain, and maintain.  This method starts with the “edit” step, which focuses on getting rid of things in your home that you no longer need.  The “edit” foundation is important, so you don’t spend time organizing things that you otherwise be donating or getting rid of anyway.  For more detailed descriptions for each step, click here.

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Women’s Health Blog Post

This week, kicked off yesterday on Mother’s Day, is National Women’s Health Week. Let’s use this week to prioritize women’s health needs. Women should take this opportunity to think about how they can improve their health. For others, use this week to consider how you can support the women in your life. Over the past few years, we’ve been focused on Covid-19 and preventing infection. Let’s not forget however that we have other health needs, including preventive health care and mental health.

Don’t Neglect Preventive Care

Many of us put off preventive care during the past few years. While it is important to protect yourself from Covid-19, it’s also important to seek care to prevent other harmful illnesses. Schedule an annual physical with your healthcare provider to discuss your preventive care needs.

Preventive care is important because it can help prevent and identify health problems that affect many women, such as osteoporosis, breast cancer, and cervical cancer, as well as issues like diabetes or high blood pressure. Discuss what screenings might be appropriate for you with your health care provider. Check out the National Institute of Health’s website on important health screenings for women age 65 and older. You can also ask your doctor or nurse practitioner about whether you have missed any vaccines during the pandemic. (more…)

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Planning for the Death of a Partner

Losing a partner or a spouse is hard. For some, this loss is made even more difficult by the fact that the surviving partner is left unprepared to handle family finances. Many families have one person who handles finances and bill paying and when that person dies, the other person can be left not knowing how to manage these tasks. You can make this transition easier for your loved ones by putting a plan in place to deal with finances and bill pay. Creating a plan that lays out information on things like how to pay bills and how to access financial accounts can help reduce stress for surviving family members.

In setting up a financial plan, ensuring that your partner can access accounts for things like finance and billing is a good place to start. Make sure that any user IDs and passwords for accounts are available. It’s okay to write down your account login information as long as you keep that information in a safe and secure place far from others’ prying eyes. Consider including information to access your cell phone and your email account in this list to make it easier to pay bills and access accounts. You should also consider making any information about frequent flier miles or other points available to your partner. (more…)

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Unpacking Delirium

Many of us have heard of dementia. Dementia refers not a particular disease, but to a general decline in cognitive functioning such that a person’s ability to think, remember things, make decisions, and reason is impaired. Dementia occurs when this decline interferes with someone’s day to day life and activities.

You may not have heard of delirium however. Delirium is different from dementia in several ways. First, we’ll start by discuss what delirium actually is.

What is delirium?

Delirium is not a disease, but rather is an altered mental state. Unlike dementia, which is chronic, delirium refers to “sudden confusion” and affects attention.  While dementia is long-term, and gets worse slowly over time, delirium is acute and occurs when a person’s mental status suddenly changes over the course of a day or two. Delirium can be a sign that someone is not well and can be a symptom of Covid-19 in people who have dementia.

There are different types of delirium:

  • Hyperactive delirium occurs when a person becomes overactive.
  • Hypoactive delirium occurs when a person becomes underactive and is most common.
  • Mixed delirium is a combination of hyperactive and hypoactive delirium.

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How To Get Your Personal, Legal and Financial Affairs in Order

Organizing your important papers and getting your personal and financial affairs in order is wonderful gift to your loved ones!
GET ORGANIZED
Gather up all your important personal, financial, and legal information so you can arrange it in a format that will benefit you now, and your loved ones later. Sit down and create various lists of important information and instructions of how you want certain things handled when you die or if you become incapacitated. Focus on the below checklist areas.


Keep all your organized information and files together in one convenient location, ideally in a fireproof filing cabinet or safe in your home. review and update it every year, and don’t forget to tell your kids the safe location. (more…)

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Jewelry Theft Scheme Targets Seniors

Older adults should be aware of an organized crime ring has been stealing jewelry from seniors in cities around California, including in San Ramon.

How The Scheme Works

Generally the scheme works as follows: A pair of people approach a senior. They may even engage the senior in a friendly conversation. The pair will get close to the senior. One of the pair may have a piece of cheap jewelry, such as a bracelet or a necklace, and they might tell the senior that they want the senior to have that piece of cheap jewelry. While the senior is distracted, one of the pair will take off the real and expensive jewelry that the senior is wearing. The thieves may attempt to swap out a piece of fake jewelry for a piece of real jewelry. Before the senior knows it, their real jewelry is gone. In some cases, the thieves have forcibly ripped jewelry off their victims.

How to Protect Yourself

Be vigilant when you leave the house and pay attention to those around you. The scammers have targeted older adults of Asian descent in particular, so members of this community should be especially wary. If someone approaches you, make sure your jewelry is secure, especially expensive looking jewelry.

What to do if You Are A Victim

If you have been a victim of this type of theft, report the theft to the police. Law enforcement agencies in multiple areas of California are investigating these crimes. You can help the investigation by reporting additional incidents to law enforcement.

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The Joy of Volunteering

Are you interested in volunteering? If so, now is the perfect time to start because April is National Volunteer Month. Volunteering offers many benefits to older adults and can be a great way of helping others in your community.

Why volunteer?

People who volunteer later in life experience several benefits linked to healthy aging. Benefits of volunteering can include improved mental health and reduced feelings of depression and anxiety. Volunteering has been shown to impart feelings of relaxation and positivity. In addition, volunteering can lower stress levels. This is because by helping others, volunteers gain a sense of meaning and of being appreciated, which in turn can help reduce stress. Health benefits of volunteering extend beyond mental health to physical health. One study even showed that people who volunteer have lower mortality rates than those who do not volunteer.

Volunteering can help you meet new people and make new friends. Studies have shown that volunteering can decrease feelings of isolation and improve social connections. Volunteering can help you expand your network and bond with others by participating in shared activities and discovering interests in common. Helping others can also make you feel good. Older volunteers also report higher self-esteem and life satisfaction. This stems in part from the fact that volunteering can help you find a sense of purpose, especially if you volunteer in a way that you find meaningful. (more…)

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3 Tax Season Security Risks

Written by Sander Van Hezik,  Excerpts from Avast Software

Don’t Get Scammed This Tax Season
Filing your taxes online can make you a potential target for cybercriminals and their many niche, tax-related scams. Save yourself some stress by using the right tools and following tips on how to avoid scams this tax season.

Here are three examples of these scams and security risks, and how to avoid them when you file your taxes this year.

1. Ghost tax preparers
A ghost tax preparer is someone who will prepare your taxes but refuse to sign the return. By law, anyone who is paid to prepare or assists in preparing federal tax returns must sign and include their preparer’s tax identification number (PTIN). Instead, ghost tax preparers will print the return and get the taxpayer to sign and mail it, or they will refuse to digitally sign e-filed returns, often because they don’t want to be responsible for the consequences. This unethical practice exposes you to a frightening array of problems. And should those problems lead to an audit, the ghost tax preparer is long gone, leaving you, the taxpayer, to brave it on your own.

How to avoid being scammed
It’s important to remember that ultimately you are responsible for all the information on your tax return, no matter who prepares it. So, make sure you choose your preparer wisely.

  • Do – Check the preparer’s qualifications. You can search the IRS directory to find preparers with credentials and qualifications recognized by the IRS.
  • Do – Review before signing. Always review the tax return before your tax preparer signs and files. If it checks out, make sure the preparer signs and includes their PTIN.
  • Don’t – Never sign a blank return. If your tax preparer asks you to sign the return they’ve prepared, run for the hills. But first, report them to the IRS.
  • Do – Use a trusted tax-preparation service to E-file. Filing your return electronically is the fastest way to get your refund if you have one due. To ensure that you get your tax filing done safely and securely, check out TurboTax. TurboTax provides a team of tax experts that are here to help you get your maximum tax refund.

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Restraining Orders: A Primer

Have you ever wondered whether a restraining order could help you? If so, you’ve come to the right place. We’re here to demystify restraining orders for you. To start, there are different kinds of restraining orders. Each type of restraining order can do different things, has different eligibility requirements, and is subject to different laws and rules. There are three main types of civil restraining orders that individuals can apply for: (1) Elder Abuse Restraining Order, (2) Domestic Violence Restraining Order, and (3) Civil Harassment Restraining Order.

Elder Abuse Restraining Order

Who is eligible: To be eligible to obtain an Elder Abuse Restraining Order (EARO), you must be 65 or older or you must have physical or mental limitations that interfere with your ability to carry out normal activities. In addition, to get an EARO you must have experienced elder abuse. You have the option of asking a judge to add additional parties, such as a household member, minor child, or a caregiver, to your restraining order, allowing these parties to receive protections as well.

What is elder abuse: There are different types of elder abuse. Elder abuse includes physical abuse, neglect, financial abuse, abandonment, sexual abuse, mental or emotional abuse, and sexual abuse. Elder abuse also occurs when a caregiver fails to provide the person they care for with goods or services needed to avoid harm or suffering.

To learn more about what elder abuse is, click here. (more…)

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Contact Us

2702 Clayton Rd.
Suite 202

Concord, CA 94519
(925) 609-7900
legalhelp@ccsls.org

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For our upcoming events, check out our calendar.

Our Mission

The mission of CCSLS is to protect the rights of seniors. By providing legal services, the organization is also able to mediate poverty and improve health outcomes for the population it serves. Lawyers are uniquely qualified to help identify and address legal issues that impede the ability of seniors to remain healthy and independent.