Friday, April 20, 2012

AG Cuccinelli gives advice on protecting seniors from scams and abuse

FRONT ROYAL (April 20, 2012)–Today, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli joined seniors, law enforcement, and advocates at the annual Front Royal TRIAD conference for seniors. The attorney general shared some of the best strategies for seniors to protect themselves against current scams targeting physical and financial wellness.

“TRIAD cooperatives are partnerships between senior citizens, law enforcement, and service providers that help seniors by increasing awareness of scams and frauds targeting them, as well as by strengthening communication between law enforcement and seniors,” said Cuccinelli. “As attorney general, I think it is critically important that we work to protect all Virginia citizens from scammers, but especially those most targeted for these types of crimes – our seniors.” 

Cuccinelli offered ways that seniors can protect themselves against elder abuse:

  • When entering a nursing home be aware of strong odors of urine or feces.
  • Check for unsanitary conditions and pests.
  • Look for unusual bruising, cuts, and scrapes.
  • Check for skin ulcers, as bedridden patients need to be turned every two hours.
  • Check for dehydration and malnutrition (pinch skin for elasticity), and watch for weight loss and poor grooming.
  • Arrive at the nursing home late in the evening or early in the morning to see how many staffers are on duty.
  • Check nursing home inspection reports on the state health department’s website, vdh.state.va.us.

He also offered strategies to avoid Medicaid fraud, such as: 

  • Do not give your Medicaid recipient number to anyone other than your health care provider.
  • Review and fill out your “Explanation of Benefits” form from Department of Medical Assistance Services to verify the care you actually received from your health care provider.
  • Make sure the care given to your children by dentists and/or therapists for in-home intensive therapy is actually received.
  • If you have a family member receiving in-home health care, make sure the provider has the necessary certifications to give the actual care, and make sure they are billing for the actual time worked in the home.
  • Do not sign any paperwork from a health care provider that you feel has false information or is incorrect in any way.

About TRIAD

TRIAD was formed in 1988 by three founding organizations-the American Association of Retired Persons, the International Association of Chiefs of Police, and the National Sheriff’s Association. These groups recognized that baby boomers would soon retire and need protection from con artists and other criminals seeking to steal their savings. Currently, there are 94 TRIAD chapters across the commonwealth. 

The Virginia TRIAD Office is headquartered in the attorney general’s office and helps found and sustain TRIAD cooperatives across the state. Those wanting information about starting a chapter can contact Juanita Balenger, Community Outreach & TRIAD Director, at (703) 359-1121 or jbalenger@oag.state.va.us.

Posted By Valerie Garner

Categories: Politics, State Politics

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