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Frauds and Scams Targeting Older Adults

We’ve all heard stories about friends, relatives, or acquaintances who have fallen victim to financial scams.  Or a ‘friendly’ telemarketer claims you’ve won a trip or a major prize, and you just need to provide your banking information to claim it.

The ways in which criminals try to fraudulently get your money continues to grow, and despite warnings from police forces, consumer advocacy groups, and government agencies for all of us to be on alert in order to avoid falling prey, one group in particular is increasingly being targeted – older adults.

The financial exploitation of older adults has been recognized as a serious problem, associated with major consequences such as increased mental and physical health problems, more hospitalization, shortened survival, and diminished quality of life. However, knowledge about the extent of the problem is mostly limited to ‘financial abuse,’ which is perpetrated within a relationship of trust, such as family or caregivers. Little is known about elder financial fraud and scams, which are perpetrated by strangers.

Prevention Tips

Never give out information to an unsolicited caller.

Government agencies such as the Canada Revenue Agency will not threaten you with deportation or make urgent requests for money by prepaid credit card, or a money wire service such as MoneyGram or Western Union.

Be very careful when someone offers you money to help transfer funds.  Once you send money to someone, it is impossible to get it back.

Be suspicious if someone you don’t know asks you to send them money or a cheque, or to return money they ‘accidentally’ sent you.

Online Tips

Do not click on pop-up windows or respond to emails, open attachments, or go to website links sent by people you do not know.  Your bank or credit union will not send you anything by email unless you ask them to.

Do not respond to offers of money, threats of legal action, or warnings about ‘compromised security’.  No legitimate company will call and claim your computer is infected with a virus.

Privacy Tips

Treat your personal details like you would treat money, don’t leave them lying around for others to take.

Carry only the credit cards and identification you actually need.

Keep all personal documents in a secure place.  If you don’t need them, do not carry your birth certificate, passport, or SIN card.

Destroy personal information, don’t just throw it out.  Ensure that items such as credit card applications, charge receipts, insurance forms, and bank statements are shredded and safely disposed of.

Never give out your credit card, bank account, or personal information to someone over the phone, at the door, or over the internet unless you know the person or organization you are dealing with, or unless you made the contact.

Immediately report lost or stolen credit cards and any discrepancies in your monthly statements to the issuing credit card company.

Never share or disclose your passwords to anyone.

Avoid mail solicitations disguised as promotions that request personal information.

 

For more information call the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501

2018-07-02T18:54:39+00:00 July 2nd, 2018|Burloak Senior Support|

The Best Chocolate Cake Recipe EVER!

Wondering what The Best Chocolate Cake Recipe Ever has to do with Burloak Senior Support?  I’m not sure…but you’re welcome!

A one bowl chocolate cake recipe that is quick, easy, and delicious!

Yield:: 12

Author: Robyn Stone | Add a Pinch

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder
  • 1 cup milk buttermilk, almond, or coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable canola oil, or melted coconut oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • Chocolate Buttercream Frosting Recipe

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Prepare two 9-inch cake pans by spraying with baking spray or buttering and lightly flouring.

For the chocolate cake:

  1. Add flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt and espresso powder to a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Whisk through to combine or, using your paddle attachment, stir through flour mixture until combined well.
  2. Add milk, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla to flour mixture and mix together on medium speed until well combined. Reduce speed and carefully add boiling water to the cake batter until well combined.
  3. Distribute cake batter evenly between the two prepared cake pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center of the chocolate cake comes out clean.

  4. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes, remove from the pan and cool completely.

Notes

The cake batter will be very thin after adding the boiling water. This is correct and results in the most delicious and moist chocolate cake!

Freezer Friendly

Let the baked cake layers cool completely. Wrap them well with plastic wrap and then with foil. Put each layer into a freezer bag and freeze up to 2 months. To serve, thaw in the refrigerator overnight. The next day, the layers are ready to fill and frost.

2018-05-28T21:38:27+00:00 May 28th, 2018|Burloak Senior Support|

Do You Have Caregiver Fatigue? Here’s How To Take a Break

I’m able to do “well” because I understand the importance of frequent escapes from my caregiving responsibilities—preferably every day. Fortunately, I can leave my husband alone for hours at a time. He’s very supportive of my breaks because, like many people who need help, he doesn’t want to be a burden and he wants me to be happy.

Within the confines of almost any caregiving role, you can find escapes that nourish you and let you continue to have the energy for caregiving. Getting a break may require help from others and asking for that help is an important skill to learn. If you can’t leave your loved one by him or herself for long enough to have a good escape, ask a friend to stop by so you are able to go with a clear conscience.

I have a mental list of pleasurable activities. On the rare days when I don’t want to leave my home, I fall back on stay-at-home respites like reading a good book, listening to music, talking on the phone to a dear friend, or doing a crossword puzzle. But I’ve found that getting out and about is a more complete escape.

When I leave the house, I’m getting exercise in the form of walking—another pleasurable activity for me. And there’s an extra fillip of fun when my escapes give me the chance to practice navigation skills, like learning new bus routes. Here are many of my favorite away-from-home escapes, in order of how often I do them. You can find ideas on the Internet (Google pleasurable activities) or create your own list.

  • Spending time with friends, preferably with food, and often with stimulating conversation
  • Long walks and conversation with my children or grandchildren
  • Going to a movie
  • A trip to the library (including reading there for a change of pace)
  • Happy hour by myself (easy to feel comfortable, since I live in a lively urban neighborhood)
  • Going to my intensive weekly workout
  • Gardening (in someone else’s garden)
  • Dancing
  • Singing
  • Orienteering

Psychologists know that engaging in pleasurable activity is an effective way to address depression. These activities also produce endorphins! After a wonderful evening with friends, the effects often last well into the next day.

Many resources are out there to help caregivers with practical and spiritual advice. Just as they tell us on the airplane, it’s important to “put your own oxygen mask on first” and not feel selfish or guilty for doing that. The renewal you experience from your pleasurable escapes will help you be a better and more patient caregiver.

By Denise Klein

Denise Klein led the King County Area Agency on Aging for 12 years, was Senior Services’ CEO for 10 years, and spent 13 years as a national consultant on aging.  She has served on numerous non-profit boards, received two national leadership awards, and is currently the executive director for Wider Horizons, a Village Network community in Seattle.  (www.widerhorizonsvillage.org)

Burloak Senior Support offers companionship services for you if you are needing a break to practice self care, relax, or explore any activity that will bring joy and comfort. Click Here 

2018-05-16T14:17:29+00:00 May 15th, 2018|Burloak Senior Support|

Quality Time With Grandparents Reduces Ageism

Quality over quantity!  This study proves that kids who spend quality time with loving grandparents are less likely to become prejudiced against the elderly later in life.  This is an interesting article just out this week that discusses the importance of fostering a great connection with your grandkids.

Quality Time With Grandparents Could Reduce Kids’ Ageist Mindset Later In Life

“When it came to ageist views, we found that quality of contact mattered much more than frequency.”

For all those parents who’ve felt the sudden urge to drop their kids at Grandma’s house, you’re not alone — and now there’s science to support your cause. While your primary motivation might be an uninterrupted night with Netflix, a new study suggests that spending quality time with one’s grandparents might inevitably prevent ageism later in life.

According to a recent study, fostering nurturing relationships between children and their grandparents could prevent said kids from developing an ageist mindset down the road. Published in the journal Child Development, the findings claim that children who establish a sound, loving relationship with their grandparents are less likely to become prejudiced against the elderly as they grow up.

Conducted by University of Liege in Belgium, researchers asked 1,151 Belgium children, ages 7 to 16, to describe their feelings toward their grandparents. As it turns out, those who were unhappy with the relationship were more inclined to have ageist views. Ultimately, quality trumps frequency, as those who have solid relationships with their grandparents are less prejudiced regardless of how often they see each other.

“The most important factor associated with ageist stereotypes was poor quality of contact with grandparents,” Allison Flamion, psychology graduate student and study leader, said in a news release from the Society for Research in Child Development. “We asked children to describe how they felt about seeing their grandparents. Those who felt unhappy were designated as having poor quality of contact. When it came to ageist views, we found that quality of contact mattered much more than frequency.”

“Since people are living and staying healthier longer, many individuals cannot necessarily afford to retire at 65,” Javorsky explains. “With better health, vast numbers of older adults are able to keep working longer than past generations could. This reality has not stopped many employers and coworkers from believing it’s time for older adults to leave the workforce once they celebrate a certain birthday. When their employers act upon this belief, workers can be confronted with age discrimination.”

If we can begin to curb negative perspectives by teaching children to love and respect the elderly people they hold near and dear to their hearts, perhaps we can work to cultivate an enriched workforce where all ages are welcome.

2018-05-11T21:59:19+00:00 May 11th, 2018|Burloak Senior Support|

2018 Retirement Destination Winner!

Let’s make some assumptions: first you have, through responsible living and working hard (or you are just lucky), accumulated sufficient financial resources to retire and maybe even continue to live the way you did the day before you retired.  You aren’t wealthy or living below the poverty line.  (If you are suddenly wealthy you can send me your contact info 😉 )

Secondly, you haven’t any new health concerns.  Ok maybe you aren’t quite as slim or have all of your hair but hey, you are doing ok!  Maybe it is time to make some plans to travel.  Will it be to a favourite destination that you have travelled to before? Will you explore somewhere new?  Do you see yourself falling for ‘pier pressure’ on a sandy beach or are you sipping a cold pint in the pub on a rainy day in Ireland?  It is all based on personal preference.  One man’s paradise can be another man’s hell.

Sometimes it is best to talk to the experts!  Can you guess (no peeking) International Living’s number one..world’s best place to retire in 2018?  Mexico? Portugal? Ok….now you can scroll down…

 

 

 

IT’S COSTA RICA!!!!!!

Costa Rica has been hosting retirees for more than 30 years, and all the reasons why this Central American gem first attracted those seeking a better life abroad back then still hold true today.

As a safe and stable country, with no army, Costa Rica welcomes foreigners with open arms. People are friendly and happy. The unofficial national motto, Pura Vida, means “life is good.” And that laidback attitude permeates daily life in this country. It’s a stress-free, relaxed existence.

Expats are attracted to Costa Rica for numerous reasons, which include the affordable cost of living, excellent healthcare, a modern telecommunications structure, beautiful beaches, rainforests, lush valleys, and cool mountains…not to mention the theaters, art galleries, and fine dining. There are more than 20,000 expats living in Costa Rica and many well-established expat communities.

One of the major benefits of Costa Rica is the affordable cost of living. “For between $2,000 and $3,000 per month, a retired couple can live well and cover all expenses without scrimping,” says IL’s Roving Latin America Editor Jason Holland. “For example, you can fill your fridge with fresh produce from farmers’ markets for about $35 per week…property taxes are just 0.25% of the home’s assessed value…a decent meal at a local restaurant will run you $5 per plate…and rents start at $400 per month for fully-furnished condos or homes in nice areas.”

Costa Rica also has a wide variety of climates, landscapes, and lifestyles. So there’s really something for everybody. Whether you want a temperate climate in the mountains, in small farming communities…or would rather chill out in a bustling beach town where there’s always a party going on…there’s a place for you in Costa Rica.

In the world’s top retirement haven for 2018, you’ll find the tropics along the Pacific and Caribbean Coasts, while most of the Central Valley is cool and breezy. If you find it difficult to choose which climate you prefer, you will be glad to know that the mild temperatures of the Central Valley are just two hours by car from the tropical beaches of the Pacific Coast.

One of the major reasons Costa Rica is so attractive to retirees is the highly-rated healthcare. All the latest technology is available, and doctors are trained in the latest techniques.

With its slower pace of living, warm, welcoming climate, healthy, fresh foods, and reputation as one of the “greenest, cleanest” countries in the world, it’s no wonder Costa Ricans are considered among the “happiest people on the planet.”

Feel like checking out a worry free trip to Costa Rica?  Burloak Senior Support offers affordable and reliable vacation home watch services customized just for you!

Burloak Senior Support Services

2018-05-02T19:25:36+00:00 May 2nd, 2018|Burloak Senior Support|

Welcome to Burloak Senior Support

Welcome to Burloak Senior Support! Thank you for stopping by my webpage and blog.

I am so excited to introduce myself and this company. It started as a vision, a passion, and a purpose. Three months later this dream has come to life with hard work and a lot of support and encouragement. Things seemed to line up, show up, and fall into place!

Why this business? Why now? I have volunteered in Burlington for many years with older adults at the bedside in hospice care and in the hearing healthcare industry. I have been honoured to get to know each person and hear the amazing stories they have to tell. I was also exposed to the challenges seniors face due to the aging process itself and the loneliness and isolation of many seniors live with daily. Our baby boomers in Halton Region are aging and living longer and I have come to see a growing need for caring and compassionate support, and reliable and affordable solutions for this growing and most valuable part of our community.

I find it amazing that today’s western cultures tend to be so focused on youth and value such qualities as individualism and independence. One’s value is tied to his or her ability to work and earn, something that diminishes with age. Seniors in North America often live lonely lives and are separated from their children and friends. In other parts of the world, such as in China and Korea the elderly are honoured, prioritized, celebrated, and treated with the utmost respect.

Burloak Senior Support allows me to do what I truly love and provide valuable and much needed services at the same time.

“In every step of the planning process for this business I have envisioned the kind of trusted care I would want for my own aging parents”

It is my vision that this blog will become a way to expand my reach to seniors and their families and provide a platform to discuss some serious, impactful issues and topics that relate to older adults. At other times it will be a place to laugh together about life, to share ideas and personal stories…and let’s be honest…we will also find the time to share a yummy, tried-and-tested, ‘must share’ recipe as well.

To the seniors and their families out there looking for support, connection, and compassion…. I work for you!

Andrea

2018-04-23T17:08:08+00:00 April 23rd, 2018|Burloak Senior Support|