I was fortunate this week to host a booth and be a part of the Seniors Outreach Society’s safety fair at Trinity Baptist Church.
It is an annual event held in a social atmosphere for seniors, their families and caregivers to drop in, enjoy a refreshment, learn about local services available to them and hear from a guest speaker on topics of seniors safety and awareness.
I attended sporting a polka dot dress and matching balloons at my table promoting my business, Pursuit Fitness Personal Training and Instructing.
Many of my senior fitness participants did not recognize me because I was not in the usual swimsuit for pool class or pony tail and runners for aerobics.
I was told I clean up pretty well.
It was very well attended and I was impressed with the other exhibitors focused on the wellbeing of seniors.
Among the other exhibitors were home health care services providers, information on other social and fitness programs in the community, and products and equipment to help keep seniors safe at home.
The highlight of the event were presenters Malki Haer, from the B.C. Securities Commission, speaking on being fraud aware, and John Woodfield, sharing information on power of attorney, and estate planning
The information they shared was both insightful and helpful in educating
seniors on matters of fraud and managing their finances.
Stats show nearly
one-in-five Canadians over the age of 50 say that they had been victims of investment fraud.
That number rises to 24 per cent when you look only at B.C.
When faced with a clearly fraudulent offer, more than a quarter of Canadians aged 50 or older demonstrated their vulnerability by saying they would either look at it further (19 per cent) or simply didn’t know (seven per cent).
What stood out to me was the connection between the ill effects of fraud and one’s wellness.
Some of the adverse impacts resulting from fraud are both physical and mental. Depression is a big one, as are other physical ailments associated with stress and anxiety (we’ve also seen divorce and suicide).
The particular danger
with seniors being victimized, however, is that they rarely, if ever, have enough time to recoup their financial losses.
They also feel the impacts of the stress and anxiety more acutely by virtue of their age).
Malki Haer of B.C. Securities Commission shared a few tips for seniors in protecting themselves from scams and fraud:
• Know yourself
•Know your advisor
•Know your investments
Some red flags to look out for include:
• Be wary of low-risk promises with above-average returns
• Time pressure to invest is a red flag
• Offshore investments where you don’t have to pay taxes
• Friends can’t be wrong (i.e. follow the crowd)
Bobbi Kittle is a seniors fitness specialist with Pursuit Fitness Personal Training and Instructing.