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Free Safe Senior Workshop slated for Wednesday

By Staff | Jun 4, 2011

Time is running out to sign up for the free Safe Senior Workshop.
Hosted by the Cape Coral police, the event will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Wednesday at police headquarters, at 1100 Cultural Park Blvd. The workshop will cover challenges and issues facing senior citizens today.
“Our retirement and senior citizen population is pretty sizeable here in Cape Coral,” Officer Jerry Moll, organizer and a district resource coordinator for the CCPD, said. “They can be vulnerable, as far as being a victim to a crime.”
Presentations will be conducted on elder exploitation, identity theft, crime prevention and safe driving. The Department of Children and Families will talk about their available services, while Lee Memorial will discuss fall prevention.
“Which is a major medical issue that senior citizens face,” Moll said.
For exploitation and identity theft, the department will cover the newest scams and schemes that are threatening the public, especially seniors.
“It’s very difficult to keep up with all the scams out there,” he said.
Officers will cover the different crime waves and patterns that they are seeing in the Cape and will offer information on how seniors can reduce the chance of becoming a victim. Participants will have an opportunity to share their safety concerns.
Project Lifesaver will be discussed, as well as the department’s protocol when it comes to missing adults. A traffic division sergeant with the CCPD and a driving instructor from AARP will present the safe driving segment.
“There were so many topics that I had to narrow it down,” Moll said.
According to Erin Gillespie, the spokeswoman for DCF, an adult protective services supervisor for the agency will discuss what elder abuse is and how DCF gets involved. She will also cover what the agency can, and cannot, do.
One common misconception is that DCF can simply go in and remove a person from an unhealthy living situation and place that person in a nursing home.
“The biggest thing we do is connect people with services in their community,” Gillespie said. “We don’t really provide any direct services.”
DCF regularly participates in events like the one set for Wednesday.
“We do this all the time just to bring awareness to the community to what we can do for them,” she said.
The police department also has reached out to local assisted living and independent living facilities, as well as the Tony Rontino Senior Center and Lake Kennedy Senior Center. They each will have booths set up to provide participants with information about their facilities and their services.
“All in one spot to see what is available,” Moll said.
This is the first senior safety workshop that the department has held, though it has held ones on retail or employee theft and bank robberies. Moll has been working on putting together the upcoming event for two months.
“I wanted to get more into personal safety and our senior citizens,” he said.
The workshop is limited to 200. As of Friday, it was about one-third full.
“We still have quite a bit of room,” Moll said.
After the workshop, participants will get a tour of police headquarters.
“I always end these with a tour, that way they can see the interworkings of the police department,” he said.
Those interested in attending the Safe Senior Workshop should RSVP to Susan Fiene at 574-0615 or sfiene@capecoral.net. There is no deadline to RSVP, and those who simply show up Wednesday will not be turned away.
Breakout sessions and information tables will be set up, and complimentary coffee and refreshments will be offered.
Target, Costco and BJ’s has helped.
“I think one of the highest priorities is their health, and their priority is their personal safety,” Moll said of seniors. “We’re going to cover both of those.”