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How I Nearly Fell For a Publishers Clearing House Scam…

On Thursday, January 14 at 11:40am I received a call on my landline. I answered and the man on the line identified himself as Devon Brown, Badge #4698 calling from Publishers Clearing House (PCH). He then promptly provided me his phone number in case we get disconnected. He claimed to be from the Prize Patrol and told me I won! He asked if I had heard of the Christmas Bonanza Giveaway. I said no. He said there are three winners, and I was the 2nd place winner. He said I won $8.5 million dollars and a 2020 Mercedes Benz plus $5,000 weekly for life. (more…)

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Health and Aging

While many people face new health challenges as they age, aging can bring new opportunities to pursue a healthy lifestyle. There are many things you can do to remain healthy as you age. From exercise, to tai chi, to having a pet, to meeting new friends or pursuing new activities, all of these can help seniors maintain their health and independence as they get older.

Physical Activity

One important thing that seniors should do to stay healthy is to get regular physical exercise. The good thing about exercise is that it’s never too late to start! Not only does exercise help prevent illness, but exercise can also reduce older adults’ risk for falls. Exercise does not have to feel like work. Instead, exercise can be fun.1 If you have grandkids, you can take them outside for a walk, game, or other activity. You can play video games that get you up and moving. Many seniors enjoy doing yardwork, including raking, weeding, or planting new plants. In addition, many senior centers offer exercise classes, such as Zumba, and many of these classes are now being offered online to allow seniors to participate from home. (more…)

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Contra Costa Senior Legal Services Celebrates Black History Month

February is black history month. Unfortunately, black history is too often overlooked and misunderstood. No doubt many of you took history classes in school that barely touched on the subject of black history in any meaningful way. At Contra Costa Senior Legal Services, we celebrate black history month as it provides an opportunity to empower ourselves with knowledge and fight back against the stereotypes and misconceptions that harm many people in our community.

This month, we should all remember that the subject of black history can encompass not just the history of black people in the United States. In all corners of the world, from Brazil, to France, to Somalia, persons of African descent have played an important role in shaping history. We can better understand how racism and oppression persist in our community if we educate ourselves about this history.

Let’s take this opportunity to educate ourselves and be inspired to continue to learn about black history year-round. Black history is full of wonderful stories and there are many ways of engaging with this topic. Not only can you pick up a book to learn something about black history, you can try watching a film, listening to music, or even view art as a way of learning about this fascinating, and very diverse, subject.

At CCSLS, we recognize how the legacies of slavery, segregation, and colonialism continue to impact the lives of many of our clients. Many in our community continue to suffer the effects of this long history of discrimination and oppression. CCSLS is dedicated to supporting those clients by empowering them to assert their right to protection against elder abuse, housing discrimination, and consumer exploitation.

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Valentine’s Day Can Be Sexy for Seniors Too

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It’s that time of year when the stores put out heart shaped boxes of candy, cards in a sea of red & pink, and tubs of flowers. Valentine’s Day, the Hallmark holiday designed to stir up thoughts of love & romance.  It’s the perfect time to discuss sexuality and aging.

There is very little focus in our society on the changes in one’s sexuality as we age. According to Dr. Neal Blangiardo, Professor in Human Sexuality at Brooklyn College, “the cultural fallacy about sexlessness as we age runs deep.” While people’s desire to remain sexually active as they age may wane due to physiological changes, disease, loss of one’s companion, depression, or cognitive impairment, most humans can actually remain sexually active until death.

Sexuality is “part of who we are…the ways our gender affects our roles in society, our self- image, and who we are as a person.” Dr. Blandgiardo likens it to a wheel with many spokes, even if you take one spoke away (e.g., your libido decreases), the wheel remains mostly intact.

There are resources on the web that provide information about some of the physiological changes one can expect to encounter with age. For women, hormonal shifts may result in vaginal dryness or hot flashes. For men, they may experience erectile dysfunction or an inability to achieve an erection. For these issues there are medicines and supplements that might help.

Other factors can affect one’s interest in sex with age. The medications one takes following surgeries or to help regulate certain medical conditions may interfere with one’s ability to enjoy sex. Mental health issues such as dementia or cognitive impairment may impact one’s sex life. Even retirement and subsequent worries about one’s financial well-being can impact one’s sex life.

While sex with age can bring challenges, there are also new freedoms. Women no longer need to worry about getting pregnant (but they do need to protect against possible sexually transmitted diseases). For some older adults who lose a spouse, they may enjoy dating new and diverse partners. Some people now feel free to explore their true sexual orientation and can identify as LGBTQ for the first time in their lives (Check out this resource for more on LGBTQ aging.) The plethora of information and access to books, movies, and even sex toys is unprecedented compared to when today’s seniors were coming of age. These resources can lead to more fulfilling sexual exploration for today’s older adults.

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COVID-19 Vaccine Scams: What you Need to Know and How to Protect Yourself

Now that the first of the long-awaited vaccines against COVID-19 have arrived, unfortunately so have the vaccine scammers. The good news is that you can protect yourself against these scammers by educating yourself about how to distinguish between a vaccine scam and the real thing.

There are a number of signs that a vaccine offer might be a scam. Beware of the following:1

  • Advertisements offering early access to the vaccine or offers to sell or ship vaccine doses in exchange for payment of a fee or deposit.
  • Claims of FDA approval for a vaccine that you cannot verify.
  • Requests that you pay out of pocket to obtain the vaccine.
  • Individuals who contact you in person, over the phone, via text or by email to tell you that the government or government officials require you to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Offers to put you name on a COVID-19 vaccine waiting list.
  • Offers to undergo additional tests or procedures when you go to get the vaccine.
  • Advertisements for COVID-19 vaccines on social media, email, phone calls, text or other unsolicited and unknown sources.
  • Unsolicited emails, calls, texts or other contact from an individual claiming to be from a medical office, insurance company, or COVID-19 vaccine center requesting personal or medical information to determine your eligibility to participate in clinical vaccine trials or obtain the vaccine.

(more…)

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Elder Abuse Fast Facts & Resources

woman in wheelchair

Today we have compiled a few assorted facts about elder abuse.

 

Q: Who is most likely to experience elder abuse?

A: Women are 66% more likely to be affected by Elder Abuse.

 

Q: What types of elder abuse are most common?

A: In Contra Costa County, according to Adult Protective Services in 2019-2020 allegations of self-neglect were the most common allegation made followed by financial abuse as the second more common form of elder abuse. However, elder abuse can span multiple categories including physical, emotional, neglect, abandonment, sexual abuse, and financial abuse.

 

Q: Who is most likely to perpetrate elder abuse?

A: Family members (esp. adult children), caregivers, friends, financial advisors/lawyers, strangers and scam artists.

 

Q: How is the pandemic exacerbating elder abuse?

A:  Sadly, the Coronavirus pandemic has resulted in many factors that can lead to increased elder abuse. For many it has resulted in more social isolation, increased financial hardship, heightened reliance on family caregivers, added stress in the household (as some adult children have been forced to move back in with their senior parents), and increased burdens on caregivers who may be torn between their own family responsibilities (which may have increased as schools closed) and their caregiving job.

 

Q: How can seniors protect themselves from abuse?

A: In some cases, but definitely not all, obtaining an Elder Abuse Restraining Order may be an option. CCSLS may be able to help. Please call our office at 925-609-7900 with your questions. Additional resources for support include:

  • Lawyer Referral in Contra Costa County: 925-825-5700 (referrals to lawyers)
  • Covia Well Connected: 925-456-7400 (provides phone & online community for seniors)
  • Friendship Line: 1-800-971-0016 (free talk line to support seniors in crisis)

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Stimulus Payment Update 

The second round of stimulus payments have already started.  Please note that you may receive your money in a different manner that you received your payment the first time.  For example, if you received a check the first time, you may receive an Economic Impact Payment (EIP) debit card this time instead.  Additionally, if you received an EIP debit card the first time, the card will not be reloaded, rather you will receive a new EIP card or a check.  

The second EIP payment will be $1,200 for eligible individuals who filed a joint tax return in 2019 and $600 for all other eligible individuals.  These amounts will be reduced for individuals in a higher income bracket.  Find more information regarding income reductions here. 

If you were eligible but did not receive the first stimulus payment, you may be able to claim the Recovery Rebate Credit for both stimulus payments on your 2020 tax returns.   

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COVID-19 Vaccines: What Seniors Need to Know 

After almost a year of social distancing and pandemic worry, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has finally authorized two vaccines for emergency use against COVID-19. One of the vaccines is made by Pfizer-BioNTech while the other is made by Moderna. 

When can I get vaccinated? 

The new vaccines are limited in supply and there is not enough vaccine to vaccinate everyone who wants it. In light of this scarcity, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) laid out a recommended schedule for vaccination, with priority groups receiving the first vacations. As such, Contra Costa County’s vaccine schedule is as follows:  (more…)

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Contact Us

2702 Clayton Rd.
Suite 202

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

Events Calendar

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.