Security and Wellness Expo Highlights Resources for Seniors

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DES MOINES, Iowa -- Over the next three days, Congressman David Young help connect Iowa’s seniors with valuable resources.

Almost 50 organizations are scheduled to participate and assist Iowans at the Iowa Senior Wellness and Security Expo.

The expos will help connect Iowa seniors, their families, and caretakers with the variety of services and resources available to them. Organizers say the event will focus around three topics for seniors -- food security, proper health care, and fraud prevention.

“A growing number of households particularly among people age 50 or older lack reliable access to affordable, nutritious food,” said Ann Black with AARP. “Across Iowa, estimates are that 1 in 8 older Iowans age 60 and over face the risk of hunger every day,”

Black goes onto say that the number of hungry older adults is only expected to grow. According to the AARP, in 2040 there will be 79.9 million adults 65 plus, more than twice as many as in 2000

“Food insecure seniors sometimes have enough money for food, but because they often lack transportation or have health problems or functional limitations, they aren’t able to get the food they need or prepare it on their own,” said Black.

Forty-two percent of U.S. workers have provided care for an aging relative or friend in the past five years, and the number of employees who provide such care is on the rise.

“Family caregivers are asked to carry out health care tasks that would make a first year nursing student tremble, like wound care, tube feedings without adequate training,” said Black. “When adult children care for older parents, they are returning the devotion their parents once showered upon them. Yet caring for a parent can be more difficult than raising a child.”

Various organizations around the metro will be on hand to teach seniors how to protect themselves from scams.

The Federal Trade Commissions says in 2012, people 60 and older made 26 percent of all fraud complaints.

The top frauds and scams reported to the Federal Trade Commission in 2014 here in Iowa are in these top 3 categories:

Impostor Scams: Complaints about scammers claiming to be friends, family, a romantic interest, companies or government agencies to induce people to send money or divulge personal information.

Complaints include the following: scammers posing as friends or relatives stranded in foreign countries without money; scammers claiming to be working for or affiliated with a government agency; and scammers claiming to be affiliated with a private entity like a charity or company.

Debt collection: Things like when a debt collector calls repeatedly or continuously, misleads you on the amount owed or current status of the debt, falsely threatens to sue, or uses profane language & threats

The expo has three stops throughout the state. In Des Moines on July 19th, Creston on July 20th, and Council Bluffs on July 21st. These events are free and open to the public, and Iowa seniors, their families, caretakers and all Iowans, are encouraged to attend.