Senior citizens learn how to protect themselves

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COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) – Community leaders came out to give seniors advice on how they can enjoy their golden years with fewer worries.

As people age, staying independent is important, but sometimes you have to lean on others.

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“As they get older in life they are looking for help and not everybody kind of wants to do honest things,” said adult protective serves employee John Bauer.

Those dishonest people can come from anywhere. They can be someone they know.

“There is abuse where there are bruises maybe broken bones things like that there’s neglect where maybe they can’t take care of themselves they don’t have anybody really to take care of them,” said Bauer.

Or someone they’ve never met like scammers.

“Generally the ones that fall prey to it or most they are elderly and what happens is because they are afraid of going to jail they threaten them with going to jail they threaten them with taking their life work and their life savings,” said Columbus Police Chief Fred Shelton.

That’s what drove this team of concerned business and civic leaders to come together and equip seasoned community members with the tools to protect themselves and direction in finding people they can trust.

One of the key topics, end of life decisions, and power of attorney.

“Probably the biggest problem is that they never name any person. So then you’re having to figure out who is that person going to be, but there are times and occasions where someone ends up making these decisions not because they are the person has been designated, but because there are the person that speaks the loudest or makes the most commotion. And then that causes everybody to kinda say oh well whatever they say that’s really what we’re most interested in honoring the patient’s wishes,” said Steve Brown.

John Bauer hoped the event empowers seniors and encourages loved ones to take action and help where they can.

“Unfortunately, the elderly population is being forgotten; it seems like people say well they’re not a benefit to society. They’re not working, they’re not working right now, they’re retired, and they’re not really doing anything, but they’re still important that’s where all of our wisdom. So it’s is important that we take care of them,” said Bauer.

BancorpSouth and the Columbus Housing Authority put on the event.

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