January 24, 2018
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Senior Safety Day can ease your mind

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Senior Beat

By Carol Higgins Taylor

Safety concerns can have a presence in many areas of your life.
Think about it for a minute. There are powers of attorney that should be in place, but who is the best person to carry out your wishes when you cannot? How do you guard against financial abuse? It can happen when you least expect it and be perpetrated by someone you never thought capable of doing such a thing.
And what about fire safety? Smoke detectors need charged batteries, carbon monoxide detectors need to be in working order and every kitchen should have a fire extinguisher.
Are you concerned about falling? A nasty spill can be life altering, so what is the best way to avoid one?
If you are caring for an elderly person, do you have a solid plan for handling an emergency or even natural disaster with regard to that person?
And let’s not forget scams and fraud. The mail, the telephone and the computer all can be avenues that bring crooks into your life. Whom can you trust?
Okay, lots of questions. But you can find the answers all in one place thanks to the Penobscot County Triad, which will is sponsoring a free Senior Safety Day from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 14, at Spectacular Events Center, 395 Griffin Road, Bangor.
Registration is from 8:30 to 9 a.m. Also at that time, the Triad drug drop-off box will be staffed, so bring in your expired medications to be disposed of properly.
There will be a continental breakfast available and a delicious lunch at 11:30 a.m., at which time door prizes will be drawn. Even if you do not win one of the prizes, you will not leave empty handed, as each attendee will receive a 2011 Triad calendar with important safety information and a carabiner that can be used to clip your purse to a grocery shopping cart.
Bangor Savings Bank will be on hand to give advice on how avoid becoming a victim of financial abuse and Julie Mallett, attorney for Legal Services for the Elderly, will speak about health care powers of attorney.
A couple of law enforcement officers will regale you with the latest and greatest scams and fraud attempts, while giving tips to help prevent you from being victimized yourself.
Dottie Van Horn, family caregiver specialist at Eastern Area Agency on Aging, will present two tools — a Senior Focused Living Plan and a Caregiver’s Emergency Kit — with the goal of preparing caregivers for the unexpected.
As for personal safety, you’ll get a chance to hear from a physical therapist about the importance of falls risk assessments. Gentiva Health Services will address safety in the home and help you assess your environment.
The keynote speaker is Ed Latham, a registered nurse from Peaks Island, who has worked in Maine’s long-term care facilities since 1980. While deeply admired in the aging industry, he missed his calling.
Ed is extremely funny, evoking tears of laughter about the most routine experiences relating to aging. He has received national acclaim for his presentations. This is a unique opportunity that is not to be missed.
And finally, Richard Taylor, the planning and research analyst for the state fire marshal’s office, will discuss home fire safety. As winter approaches, it is time to make sure your home is safe for heating season.
If you would like to attend the fun, educational Senior Safety Day on Oct. 14, call the sheriff’s department at 947-4585 to register. This event is made possible through the generosity of Bangor Savings Bank and Beal College.
Senior Safety Day can put an end to some of life’s worries. A little knowledge could go a long way toward making you feel safe.
Carol Higgins Taylor is director of communications at Eastern Area Agency on Aging. E-mail Higgins Taylor at chtaylor@eaaa.org. For information on EAAA, call 941-2865, toll-free 800-432-7812, e-mail info@eaaa.org or log on EAAA.org. TTY 992-0150.