Q: I am just starting to assist my parents with bill paying, etc., and have questions about the documents I am finding as I go through their papers. Where can I go to learn about what they have and what they may need to get or update?

A: Senior Concerns has developed a new pro bono program, Legal Concerns, to fill this need.

Services will be available from 1 to 4 p.m. on the first and third Tuesdays of every month starting in May at Senior Concerns Day Center, 401 Hodencamp Road in Thousand Oaks.

Experienced attorneys will counsel seniors, their caregivers and those with special needs. The attorneys will provide direction on end-of-life issues and issues related to conservatorships. They also will help with the preparation of health care directive and power of attorney documents.

Service will be available by appointment only and can be made by calling 497-0189.

Q: My husband always took care of our home repairs, but I’m alone now and have taken on that responsibility. I hear about home repair scams. How can I avoid becoming a victim?

A: Homeowners need to be on the alert when contracting for any type of home repair. In most day-to-day dealings the vast majority of contractors do an honest job.

A few, however, are rip-off artists. Many times they will come to the front door unsolicited to offer services. Because they have not been inside your home, the solicitors will likely offer to repair something they can see, such as your roof, driveway or yard. They might tell you they are working in the neighborhood and have noticed a need for repair or have materials left over and can offer you a “bargain.”

Either of these statements should be a red flag. If the scam is roof repair and you let the work take place, they might find more serious problems as they progress. The bargain could become a financial nightmare, and the materials are usually inferior.

Do not select a contractor by door-to-door solicitation. Check licensing and referrals. Get a detailed written contract that shows the work to be done, the time frame, the materials to be used and the cost. You can never have too much written information.


Through April 15: The Thousand Oaks Council on Aging Senior of the Year Award application process has been extended. Applications to nominate a senior for this award are at the Goebel Senior Adult Center, 1385 E. Janss Road in Thousand Oaks.

Today: “Aging in Place/Home Modification” seminar. 1:30 to 3 p.m., Westlake Village Civic Center, 31200 E. Oak Crest Drive in Westlake Village.

Thursday: “I Can’t Get Old I Can’t Afford It” presentation. 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., Goebel Senior Adult Center. For reservations call 381-2744.

Sunday: Community Garage Sale. 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., Goebel Senior Adult Center. Shop more than 30 garage sales. For information call 381-2744.

April 19: “Grandparenting” presentation. 6 to 7:30 p.m., Goebel Senior Adult Center. For reservations call 800-600-4182 or 381-2744.

Read more: http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/apr/10/senior-advocate-betty-berry-writes-about-legal/#ixzz1rq1Q5zna
– vcstar.com

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