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Elder abuse topic at Sunrise Rotary

Jill McCarthy and Minerva Garcia spoke to the Oakhurst Sierra Sunrise Rotary Club about the incredible difficulties of finding and helping victims of elder abuse recently before the Oakhurst Sierra Sunrise Rotary. McCarty’s presentation opened with a stunning and powerful video that set the stage for the grim statistics of crimes against elders which includes: neglect, financial abuse and exploitation, psychological/emotional abuse and physical/sexual abuse.

The presentation had time constraints but McCarthy and Garcia gave all members specific advise about ways to deal with phone and computer scams. This problem has been prevalent in our mountain area and our zip code may actually be a target for predators.

The ladies presented “rules” that all folks should follow when speaking to someone whom they do not know personally makes an offer or questions them about personal information. Every citizen should ask and write down the answers to the following: “What is your name? What is your phone number in case we are cut off? What is the name of your company (would you spell that)? What is the name of your supervisor? If the caller has not hung up by this time, the citizen should add that he/she will contact our local “victim services center” for advice on this call.

McCarthy is a MBA graduate of the CSUF Craig School of Business EMBA program and is a certified trainer in Advanced Healthcare Planning and POLST. She is chairman of the Board of Directors for California Central Valley Coalition for Compassionate Care, and a member of the Fresno/Madera Area Agency on Aging Advisory Council; Elder Abuse Committee. Her full time employment is with Hinds Hospice serving all of Fresno, Madera and Merced counties.

Garcia has retired from a 36 year career with Fresno County Social Work. She is also a CSFU graduate and is currently with the Fresno Madera Area on Aging Advisory Council. Garcia spends many hours on the road and in conference with state legislators advising them of the need for more help and protections for seniors in the areas of food, housing, dental, vision and health services.

To view the video online: “An Age for Justice: Confronting Elder Abuse in America,” youtube.com/watch?v=-eaJXBj87. Jill McCarthy can be reached at jmacarthy@hinshospice.org Agency on Aging: services@fmaaa.org. To contact Madera County Victim Services, (800) 355-8989.

- Jackie Mallouf

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