Senior Fraud: “Incorrigible Leech” Almost Struck Again in Victoria

I just discovered that this man has been preying on new clients of Act Together Moving Services. He developed a “friendship” and gained their trust by helping them with odd jobs and hauling. Luckily his history of defrauding seniors was discovered and contact has been cut off before he was able to do them too much harm.

This man is still living and possibly defrauding other seniors in Victoria. Please read this Times Colonist article so you recognize him when you see him! And please share with any seniors you know.

aroundtown-pro-am-jpgA B.C. Supreme Court justice called a Victoria man “an incorrigible leech” and ordered him to vacate a wealthy elderly widow’s property this week and repay her $140,000 for lost investments, unpaid rent, personal loans and a car.

 

Visualize Your Way to a Successful Move Day

By Anney Ardiel, Certified Professional Consultant on Aging and owner of Act Together Moving Services

If you are struggling to face a coming move and dreading the future in your new home, visualization exercises can help you stop imagining the worst and start focusing on the outcome you desire: a smooth, stress-free move.

Why Visualization Can Help

moving-truckAlthough experts say one of the best ways to achieve what you want for a future outcome is to use visualization techniques, I rarely meet anyone who is visualizing in a positive way about moving. Most people shudder in horror and try not to think about it until absolutely forced into facing the reality of moving and especially downsizing.   

The amazing thing about visualization is that as we imagine the desired outcome mentally and savour it with all of our brain4senses, our brain begins to build neurological pathways towards those outcomes.  Visualization can lead to an outcome that reflects your mental images, whether they are positive or negative. 

Step One: Outcome Visualization
Why not take control of the outcome by creating positive images of the future you desire?

2013-01-18-16-01-23Find a quiet place to sit for a few minutes. Imagine yourself walking in the door to your new place. Imagine that your move went very smoothly and finished ahead of schedule so you feel hugely relieved. 

Now spend a few seconds on each though as you close your eyes and take calming breaths:

  • Smell how clean and fresh the air is in your new place
  • Hear pleasant music playing on your stereo and hear two friendly neighbours saying hello.
  • Feel your daughter’s/friend’s warm hug as she greets you to your new home.
  • Hear the love in her voice when she praises how well you managed, how lovely your furniture looks and how nicely everything fits.
  • Look around. Yes, she’s right! The place looks (fill in your desired outcome: elegant, cosy, spacious, warm, cool, tasteful, familiar, new, etc. ).
  • Sip the cup of tea she made in your organized kitchen. It’s just the way you like it, warm and soothing. Notice she had no trouble finding the tea bags, tea pot and mugs because everything is exactly where it should be.
  • Go lie down on your freshly made bed and take a nap, you deserve it!

These mental images will not appeal to everyone so you’ll have to create your own list of wonderful, motivating mental images to focus on during your visualization exercises. If you need help at first, ask a friend to sit with you and read you the list one at a time, pausing to give you time to visualize each mental image.

Step Two: Process Visualization

keepcalmchillout-72x150Once you have practiced the Outcome Visualization technique enough to have a very clear image of how you want your moving day to go, you can also use Process Visualization to help you stay focused and motivated through the tough pre-move work. This exercise helps you envision a future outcome where all the hard work of moving gets done on time, extremely well, the way you want it.

Imagine you are standing in the main room of your home, preparing for move day. You’ve still got lots of time to get all the move preparation done so you feel calm. Now spend a few seconds on each though as you close your eyes and take calming breaths:

  • See all the treasures and curios you’ve collected over the years on your travels and from loved ones. Let your eyes savour the bounty of your past.
  • Imagine yourself sitting down in your favorite comfortable chair, holding a pen and notepad. Feel the pen glide across the paper as you write down a list of the things you will take to your new place. At first it’s hard for you to make decisions but soon your list marches down the page.
  • Now imagine yourself picking up the phone and speaking to someone in your family or community. Hear yourself offering to give them an item (dining room table? Lawn mower?) you can’t keep yourself. You can hear in their voice how excited they are that you’ve offered them such a wonderful gift. Hear them ask you when can they come pick it up.
  • Pick up the floor plan for your new place that has your furniture drawn to scale and hold it in your hands.blueJay_v1.10.1 It’s marvelous how everything is going to fit so nicely with plenty of room to maneuver.
  • Walk into the other room and run your hand along the stacks of boxes that have been packed with books, clothes, pictures and all the household stuff you are keeping. Read the labels on each box. The stack of boxes is orderly and ready to move.
  • Hear the admiration your daughter’s/friend’s voice as she exclaims over all the hard work you’ve done. You thank her for all the help she gave you with sorting your clothes and running moving errands for you. Give her a big hug!
  • Take a deep breath and smell that wonderful odor of clean. How smart of you to hire a cleaning company so your move out cleaning is all taken care of by professionals.


Again, this list is a starting place for you. Customize your own list of images that evoke the best possible outcome so you counter every fear with positive images.

There Will Be Bumps on the Road

couple-smallRe-calibrate Regularly

As you encounter obstacles along the way such as negative people warning you about horrible moving disasters, or if you’re feeling down after a setback, re-calibrate your visualization by running through these exercises again. Feel free to add new images to your list as they occur to you.

Get Support

It’s also a good idea to share your vision of the desired outcomes you have for your move. If your friends share your vision then they will support you and encourage you to stay on track with your goals.

 

Aging In Victoria Seminars

Anney-small“I had no idea.” I hear that over and over when helping clients and their families to navigate the dizzying senior housing options in Victoria.

And it doesn’t stop with housing. As my clients get older, it becomes harder for them to cope with the health system. Ask any senior who is trying to find a GP that is accepting new patients…it seems impossible.

That’s why I’ve teamed up other experts to put on free seminars over the next two weeks. The seminars range in topic from hidden costs that hit seniors, to housing options and aging in place, to healthy aging strategies.

The format we will follow is a collaborative panel discussion, followed by questions and input from the audience. We are there to share what we have learned from years of working in our respective industries, and also to learn from people who are navigating through their retirement.

These seminars are free, and include delicious refreshments!

I hope you can join us to learn and share.


Seminar 1: Making a Financial Plan

Our panel will discuss the various costs facing the elderly, ranging from housing, health care, aging in place and more.

Saturday, April 25th, 2:00pm – 3:30pm

Location: The Kensington 3965 Shelbourne St Victoria

Panel: Barbra Hopkins (Sun Life Financial)Nolan Adam (Sands Funeral Chapel) & Farhan Kanji (Heart Pharmacy).

Seating is limited. Call The Kensington today to reserve your spot! 250-477-1232


Seminar 2: Senior Housing Options

Our panel will discuss topics ranging from real estate, retirement housing options, VIHA (Island Health) and more.

Thursday, April 30th, 7:00pm – 8:30pm

Location: The Kensington 3965 Shelbourne St Victoria

Panel: Tony Joe (RE/MAX Camosun)Anney Ardiel (Act Together Moving Services).

Seating is limited. Call The Kensington today to reserve your spot! 250-477-1232


Seminar 3: Staying Healthy and Safe

Our panel will discuss safety at home, prescription management, exercise and nutrition and community resources.

Wednesday, May 6th, 2:00pm – 3:30pm

Location: The Kensington 3965 Shelbourne St Victoria

Panel: Richard Major (Motion Specialties)Brecon Gage (Comfort Keepers) Farhan Kanji (Heart Pharmacy).

Seating is limited. Call The Kensington today to reserve your spot! 250-477-1232

The Golden Years…Because They Cost So Much?

Anney-small
When David Bowie sang “Nothing’s gonna touch you in these golden years,” I have a pretty good hunch that he wasn’t referring to the period of life between the ages of 65 and 80+.

For most of us, the “golden years” refer to that period of retirement, when the kids have moved out, debts are paid off and careers have wound down. If you are in good shape financially, physically and mentally, your years past age 65 can indeed be golden.

These years can, however, can be far from golden for some. People can be at their most vulnerable in the following areas:
1. Health Concerns
senior-man-gym.jpgThese are the years when chronic illness, weight gain, reduced muscle mass, changes in hearing and eyesight, memory disorders and other health concerns rear their ugly heads. At the same time our body’s ability to self-repair becomes reduced as we age.
2. Money Matters
Most people rely on a fixed income after retirement, usually a combination of government pension (OAS/GIS, CPP), workplace pensions and RRSPs, and investment income.
The financial risks people face during the golden years include:
  • Will the value of their pensions and investments change?
  • As they age, will their income be able to cover the changing costs of housing, health care, and assistance required for the daily acts of living?
  • Will their financial reserves last long enough, or will they outlive their expected lifespan?
  • Will the death of a partner or spouse alter their financial situation?
  • Will they be able to leave behind something for the kids?
3. Housing Woes
Vulnerabilities in housing can overturn the apple cart of the golden years. Worries include:
Can I afford rising property taxes, maintenance and adaptations?
woman-mowing-lawn.jpg

I commonly hear of “house-poor” seniors who are just barely holding on to ownership of their house. Although rising property values will benefit them when it comes time to sell, if they want to remain living in their house they have to pay the rising taxes, keep up with repairs and pay for costly upgrades and adaptations to “age in place”.
Can I sell my condo? I hear the market is terrible.

In reality, condos can receive multiple offers if priced correctly and marketed well. The wise move is to get advice on real estate from experts before spiralling into worry based on rumours.
Rumours abound and everyone has a friend who says it’s impossible to sell in this market. What will happen if an individual needs to move into more appropriate housing due to health, but finds that their home sits on the market for months or years?
If I sell, can I find a nice place to rent?
If someone has owned their own house for many years the thought of renting can be off-putting. Sharing close quarters with neighbours, dealing with landlords and the many uncertainties of tenancy can be a real turn-off. And in many urban centres the amount of rental inventory in nice neighbourhoods is low.
The Golden Years come with some heavy stuff…and perhaps they’re not as golden as we’ve been led to believe.

Moving Family: How to Make It Better

We are constantly inspired by our clients.They have lived through wars, depressions, revolutions and personal loss. When I say downsizing isn’t for wimps, I’m talking about this tough generation.
But when faced with having to give up personal treasures, collections and mementos from the past, even the toughest person can break down. Not only the sheer volume of stuff that needs to be dealt with can be terrifying, but the physical task of sorting, boxing things up and hauling them away is impossible to fathom.

wheelchair-man-windows.jpg

Emotional Drain
Then add in the emotional drain of losing everything they hold dear, piece by piece. Each personal item might hold heavy meaning that hasn’t been fully processed, or reinforce a past loss, or remind them of their failing health.
It’s common for us to see adult children get frustrated by their parent’s behavior during the downsizing process. It is often a struggle for family members to remain patient during this process and emotions can run high.

This Might Help
If you are helping someone to downsize, here are some ideas that might help when your frustration starts to bubble over.
  • Reflect on how this process is impacting your own sense of loss and identity, so that you can stay aware of your reactions. This might help you to remain calm and supportive rather than adding to the emotional turmoil in the house.
  • Keep visits positive and upbeat, and remind your parents that you are on their team and that you want the best for them.
  • if you feel yourself getting to the boiling point, change the channel. Pop out to your car to “grab something” and make a quick phone call to a supportive friend. Declare break time and make a cup of tea. Do something to lift your own mood.
  • Keep “sorting sessions” to under two hours. Emotional fatigue that stems from too much decision-making can lead to someone saying something they might regret.
If all else fails, call in objective downsizing professionals like Act Together Moving Services to consult. We’re trained to make this process go smoothly, and almost everyone behaves better when there is a guest in the house!

Moving Mom and Dad Workshop

We’re giving a workshop on Saturday, February 15 at The Wellesley in Victoria. It’s purpose: to help people with elderly parents to prepare for their future move. Patrick and I are looking forward to delivering a fun and helpful workshop, class size will be kept quite small so we can be hands-on with individual situations going on with people in the workshop.bld4

Moving Someone Who is Sick

Anney-smallBy Anney Ardiel
Move Manager, Act Together Moving Services
Can you imagine if you found yourself in hospital right before moving day? With elderly people, it happens more than you’d think. In fact we have two clients who are in that incredibly difficult position this week. Continue reading