Starting in April of 2012, the Middlesex Sheriff’s Department partnered with many town law enforcement and Council on Aging groups in Middlesex County, Stoneham being one of them. The program, called the TRIAD Partnership, kicked off in April, tailored towards the needs of the various communities they serve. On Tuesday, Sheriff Koutoujian, Community Affairs Director Ken Doucette and Stoneham Fire Chief Joe Rolli each spoke at the Stoneham Council on Aging in front of a room filled with senior citizens on Tuesday.
Koutoujian, Doucette and Rolli each spoke about tripping hazards, navigating the showers, proper cooking safety, proper management of medication and the hazards of scam artists, either online, over the phone or in person.
“Fire prevention is an issue that does not get enough attention,” Sheriff Koutoujian said. “In 2010, there were 3445 deaths caused by fire according to the National Center for Health Statistics. 1,200 were of adults 65 or older. The concern here is that seniors are more vulnerable to fire deaths than any other generations.”
According to the Sheriff’s office, there were 29,469 complaints of fraud in Massachusetts last year, 16th most in the country behind Texas, and ahead of Conn. Of those scams, 4,879 were confirmed cases of identity theft. The Sheriff’s office also told the crowd that according to the Federal Trade Commission, 50 percent of scam complaints involved people ages 50 and older.
“It’s important we give seniors as much information as possible on recent and ongoing scams,” Sheriff Koutoujian said. “Scammers target people of all ages, but those over the age of 50 are targeted to a higher degree.”
“I want to thank all those who participated, as well as the Stoneham Council on Aging for hosting us,” said Sheriff Koutoujian. “I hope all the seniors who attended took home valuable information that will help them.”