With warmer weather come home repair projects and,
unfortunately, a few contractors and others take advantage of the
elderly - overcharging for work or not even completing projects.
WMOA News spoke with Jane Skeen, home care director for the Area
Agency on Aging about this ongoing problem. She has suggestions
for people who are approached with an offer of work in or around the house.
“Look for whether the person (soliciting) has a badge or
some kind of identifying information, a business card, something you can see
before you let them in the door.”
The Agency on Aging suggests that if something seems
amiss, call city police or the sheriff’s office. Skeen says local law
enforcement has been diligent in following up with scams and potential scams.
We asked Jane Skeen what types of rip-offs she has seen.
“It’s mostly construction where they target an elderly person
- someone who is disabled or impaired – and they want to do some kind of construction work or lawn work,” she says.
Ohio's Region 8 Area Agency on Aging
is located at 1400 Pike Street, Marietta, and serves eight southeast Ohio counties. It
offers a lot of services that not everybody knows about.
“In-home services, things related to your Medicaid benefits,
find the most appropriate prescription drug benefits,” are among the more
popular services,” Skeen says.
The Ohio Passport program is another function of the agency.
It provides ways for aging residents to remain at home rather than go into
assisted living centers or nursing homes.
With the first hot weather of the year arriving today, Jane
Skeen says any elderly person with health issues such as heart conditions or
COPD that compromise their breathing should receive extra care in warm weather.
“Our local Community Action Agency provides help with air
conditioning with a waiver program. If you meet the eligibility criteria for
that, we can arrange with an approved contractor that we utilize, she says. "We also have
a housing grant that we can use to help the elderly with that kind of issue.”
Contact the Region 8 Area Agency on Aging at 740-373-6400 or
1-800-331-2644. For information on Washington-Morgan Community Action’s heat
relief programs call 740-373-3745.
Jamey Styer assisted with this report.