2012-04-25 / Family

13th annual Senior Day to promote safety among older adults

By Rich Griset

Janie Peterson (right) demonstrated a fitness and wellness program during last year’s Senior Day. 
Chesterfield County Senior Advocate & Disability Services Janie Peterson (right) demonstrated a fitness and wellness program during last year’s Senior Day. Chesterfield County Senior Advocate & Disability Services Thirteen might not be the luckiest of numbers, but for county seniors it might be the charm.

On May 2, Chesterfield TRIAD will host its 13th annual Senior Day, informing older adults about government services, businesses and nonprofits that cater uniquely to them. TRIAD is a cooperative effort of law enforcement agencies that focuses on crime prevention for seniors.

“We promote safety among older adults,” county senior advocate Debbie Leidheiser said of TRIAD. “We try to educate people in crime prevention and safety to improve their quality of life.”

This year’s event will see more than 60 vendors and an appearance by Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli who will talk about Medicaid fraud, elder abuse in nursing homes and scams directed toward seniors. A free continental breakfast will be available until 9 a.m., and the Jubilation Senior Adult Community Choir will perform at 11 a.m.

While supplies last, the Chesterfield Health Department will offer free Tdap vaccinations, which protect adults against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis. The health department recommends that all adults get a one-time dose of the vaccine, especially those adults who are in close contact with infants and small children.

County police will collect expired and unused medications as part of a medication take-back. At last year’s Senior Day, more than 40 pounds of medications were turned in.

Jennifer Durham, education and special projects manager with the Better Business Bureau Foundation, attended her first Senior Day last year.

“I thought it was great,” Durham said. “Not only are they giving out information, but they’re having fun as well.”

This year, Durham will discuss senior fraud. From the foundation’s booth, she will offer information about identity theft and common scams like investment, health care and lottery scams. Durham said that home-repair scams are also very common.

“Half of [home-repair services] aren’t licensed properly,” Durham said.

Durham will also provide a senior fraud hot line number, and discuss the National Do Not Call Registry and the importance of shredding documents.

“The senior population is continuing to grow in the county,” said Lt. Lawrence Taylor with the Chesterfield County Sheriff’s Office. “That’s one reason we try to do as much as we can with TRIAD to help keep our seniors educated.”

Taylor has attended nearly every Senior Day the county has hosted, and said the event normally sees a turnout of 800 to 1,200 people. He said that people are always so eager for the event they often show up 30 minutes in advance.

“It’s a really good day,” Taylor said. “It’s very informative, very educational and a lot of fun.”

Senior Day is scheduled for 7:30 a.m.- 12:45 p.m., May 2, at Victory Tabernacle Church, 11700 Genito Road, Midlothian. For details, call Chesterfield County senior advocate Debbie Leidheiser at 768-7878.

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