05/25/12 Miller’s Senior Living Community opened its door to Adult Protective Services for a presentation titled “No Scare, but Be Aware”. Megan McNichols, Long Term Care Ombudsman opened the discussion by explaining what an ombudsman does.
“The word ombudsman is a Swedish word,” explained McNichols. “It means ‘citizen’s representative’. A long-term care ombudsman serves as an advocate who sees that residents are receiving good care and that their rights are being respected.”
McNichols went on to discuss resident’s rights. People in nursing care and in assisted living apartments have the same rights as anyone else in the community. The ombudsman is available to anyone who may feel their rights are being violated. She informed the audience there is no charge for the services she provides as ombudsman.
McNichols turned the discussion over to APS Director Erica Costello and APS Investigator Carol Bartosik. The ladies talked about “Smart Tips For Being Savvy About Scams”. Costello and Bartosik both work out of the St. Joseph Prosecutor’s office. They gave practical safety tips such as: never, ever, ever give out your bank account numbers…to anyone; do not give your credit card or debit card to another person to use for you; if a charity asking for money is legitimate they will give you time to research the charity and ask questions; and never, ever believe someone who says you have “won” money, yet you must them pay money to collect. They also said if you suspect someone may be trying to scam you, take time to call the APS and ask them to investigate for you. The Adult Protective Services is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. If you need them on the weekend you may call the police and the police will contact APS for you.
“We do not tell you these things to scare you,” stated Costello, “however, we do want you to be aware there are some people out there who do try to take advantage of others. No scare, be aware!”
Picture Caption: Mary Probst listens as Carol Bartosik, Erica Costello and Megan McNichols discuss resident’s rights and how to avoid being scammed.