Rockin & Talkin – Enjoy Spring but be wary of fraud

Zee Chevalier's monthly column of news from the Clinton Seniors Association.

“The day the Lord created hope was probably the same day He created Spring.” -Bern Williams

March is the month that heralds Daylight Saving Time (on the 9th) and the first day of Spring (on the 20th). It is also a turning from the cold temperatures and snow of winter to the brightness of the beautiful yellow Spring daffodil.

March 5 this year is Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent. St. Peter’s Parish will once again host a Pancake Breakfast the day before, March 4, Shrove Tuesday from 11 am until 1 pm in the Royal Canadian Legion Branch #194 basement. Pancakes, sausages and scrambled eggs – $5. Good deal!

Traditionally the Irish celebrate St. Patrick’s Day on March 17 which is also the start of Spring Break this year. Some lucky grandparents may be expecting a visit from their children and grandchildren during the holiday week.

Clinton Seniors Association members are working to bring a touch of Spring to Clinton with the annual Daffodil Tea on March 12. I’ve been assured of a better delivery date for the cut flowers and potted daffodils (new to us this year), so hopefully the blooms will be very fresh.  Part of the proceeds of the event will go to the Canadian Cancer Society. Mark your calendars for March 12, 1-3 pm in Clinton Memorial Hall – $5. Strawberry shortcake, Home Baking and daffodils.

Take out orders are available that day to businesses and shut-ins in Clinton. To place an order PRIOR to March 12 call 459-0028 or ON March 12, call the Clinton Memorial Hall at 459-2254 from 1 pm on. The Clinton Seniors Association invites you to support this endeavour.

A timely warning from Freedom Financial: Beware of fraudulent schemes that target the elderly. Fraud is the number one crime against older Canadians – hitting as many as one in five seniors according to recent statistics. People over the age of 65 are especially vulnerable to fraudulent schemes for a number of reasons: They often live alone and are home most of the day to answer the phone and the door; They have excellent credit, have more disposable income, and often keep large sums of cash around the house; And they are generally more trusting, and often lonely and open to a friendly smile or word. Con artists gain their trust fairly easily and quickly.

Some common Telephone scams that target seniors because scammers know that seniors are reluctant to hang up on anyone: Calls claiming eligibility to receive a free medical alert system; the “Hi! Grandma! This is your favourite grandson!” (“and I need money”) scam; Calls claiming you have won a free trip to some exotic place and explaining all the exciting details, asking for a small fee to hold your prize until you claim it

Be wary of free gift orders, sweepstake notifications, and charity solicitations through the mail; Door to door “building contractors” or “utility inspectors”  who just happen to be in the neighbourhood and noticed pricey problems with your house that need to be fixed immediately. Some may come with phoney testing equipment. Once you give them a hefty cash downpayment for the repairs, you will never see or hear from them again;. Some travel in pairs and while one has you distracted about the “problem”, the other is searching your home for valuables or personal information, etc.

Don’t worry about being impolite. If a telephone call makes you uneasy or anxious, hang up right away. End the conversation. Don’t answer the door if you don’t know the person or feel unsafe. If you do open it and the caller makes you anxious or uncomfortable shut the door and lock it quickly. Call a family member or trusted friend.

Happy Birthday to Elnora Edwards March 25 and to both Mary Burrage and Alice Crosson on March 27.

Zee Chevalier