Friday, January 27, 2012

Spotlight on Seniors: Tennessee's Top 3 Scams Against the Elderly

Still photo from Channel 4 news report

WSMV reported Wednesday that a Nashville widow was scammed by a man claiming to be a home repairman. The video of the story shows how the distraught woman, who was not identified, fell into the trap of the scammer. The victim was hard of hearing and lived alone. Metro Police say scams of this sort with the elderly are quite common this time of year.  Living alone is tough for some older residents, so having the help of a trained caregiver can be a way to avoid such incidents. To prevent other elderly residents from experiencing scams, Progress Inc. has compiled a list of the top three scams affecting seniors and some other important information that can help prevent a scam from happening to you.

Telemarketing: Fraudulent telemarketers often prey on trusting seniors by using heartstring pleas, aggressiveness, and undue pressure to get them to purchase high-priced items they do not want or need. In some cases, the telemarketers lure consumers to reveal valuable, private information such as bank account, credit card, and Social Security numbers, which they later use to commit identity theft. Being prepared in advance with caller-ID and registering with state and local Do Not Call registries can help eliminate and/or curtail deceptive callers.

Charitable Solicitations: Many seniors have the financial resources to be generous supporters of charitable organizations. Unscrupulous individuals target seniors for “charitable contributions” both over the phone and door-to-door. Always ask for identification, and tell them to return after you have called the charity to confirm what they have told you. Never provide personal information or a contribution until you are certain about the legitimacy of the solicitor and the organization. Check with the Division of Charitable Solicitations and Gaming of the Secretary of State’s office where Tennessee charities are required to register.

Investment schemes: Some seniors have a lifetime of savings at their disposal. Scammers may go door-to door with fraudulent or risky investment “opportunities.” Others seniors may be approached by “new” friends and neighbors who claim to have already hit it big in an attractive investment scheme. Families with seniors choosing to stay at home may want to agree to have a trusted family member involved in any significant financial matters. If you have been a victim of one of these schemes, file a complaint with the Tennessee Division of Consumer Affairs.

More Information on Senior Care and Preventing Scams:
For more information about trusted senior caregivers, .For local Do Not Call information call 1-877-TRA-7030 and for national information call
 Visit to research charities before making a
 Victims of investment and other scams can file a complaint with the Division of
Consumer Affairs at or call toll-free in Tennessee 1-800-342-8385.

Source: Tennessee Attorney General's Office and Progress Inc.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Update: Progress Inc. client's work on display at Vanderbilt

Subterraneum Divide Part 1, which is currently featured in the Creative Expressions gallery at Vanderbilt.
Several Progress Inc. supporters on Facebook shared their excitement about Jerry Adams' pieces being featured in TWO shows at Vanderbilt University's Kennedy Center. So, I decided to share photos of two more masterpieces by Progress Inc.'s favorite artist.

Jerry and his DSP Harold Hodges dropped by the 12 new pieces that will be featured in the gallery "Provocateurs Entrepreneurs" at Vanderbilt on Thursday.

Vanderbilt will feature Jerry's work along with Bernadette Resha and Matthew Drumright, who also have developmental disabilities. The three artists have been successful at selling their work, which is the basis of the art show's theme. According to a Vanderbilt release, Jerry's work "provokes fresh insights" and allows the public "to see ability beyond disability."

Jerry's artwork that will be one of 12 featured in next month's show.
 A self-portrait of Jerry and greeting cards that feature his work will be a part of Provacateurs Entrepreneurs, which opens Feb.1 and will run until May.

Check back here at Pressing Forward With Progress for more updates about Jerry's work and other interesting updates on Progress Inc.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Progress Inc. client's artwork on display at Vanderbilt

Ebony in Ivory Pool by Jerry Adams Courtesy of Vanderbilt Kennedy Center
Happy midweek everyone.

Wanted to share some exciting news about one of Progress Inc.'s longtime and talented clients Jerry Adams.
Jerry's oil painting "Ebony in Ivory Pool" will be featured in the Creative Expressions XVI exhibit at Vanderbilt University's Kennedy Center for the next week as a part of the center and the Mayor's Advisory Committee for People with Disabilities annual exhibit. The exhibition features a variety of media by artists with a wide range of disabilities and a wealth of talent. Check out a slideshow of all the artists work here.

Vanderbilt has put the display on since 1976, promoting public education and awareness and advocacy for artists with disabilities. The Kennedy Center will also feature 12 of Jerry's works, including a portrait of him, in a exhibition beginning next month, which will run until May.

Jerry, a Cheatham County resident and Tennessee native, has been painting for more than 30 years, and in that time he has been named Disabled Artist of the Year by the city and been featured in galleries at the Frist Center, TPAC and other venues across the area.

We hope that everyone can go out and support Jerry's work, and we hope to share some photos of his work for next month's exhibition soon.

Jerry Adams
 To view more of Jerry's work, please visit his website .

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Stories of Progress: North Nashville woman represents the face of in-home care

Fannie Mae Walker at her North Nashville home.
Fannie Mae Walker's warm and caring smile reflects the many faces of Progress Inc. Senior Care.
Before becoming a Progress Inc. client last fall, she was having a hard time maintaining her home on her own.
She has owned her home in North Nashville for 50 years. Thanks to a little help from Progress, she will remain there for years to come, she said.
The 86-year-old doting grandmother has made a new friend in her Senior Care Attendant Pam.
"The help that I am getting is great," she said. "Pam comes and does so many things I can't do."
Ms. Walker's senior care attendant helps out three days a week from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. by preparing breakfast and lunch, doing laundry and keeping Ms. Walker's cherished home in tip-top shape.

Ms. Walker represents the growing number of seniors who opt to stay in their homes. According to a AARP study,  82 percent of  would prefer to stay in their homes those seniors even if they begin to need day-to-day assistance or ongoing health care during retirement,

Walker agrees. She says the assistance she needs should not keep her from living in the home where she's raised her children and grandchildren.
She is one of dozens of clients that have become a part of the Progress family in the last few months. We now serve more than 70 seniors in Nashville, Rutherford and Cheatam counties.
The rapid growth in Progress' in-home care program means we can provide top-notch care to more Nashville area residents. Ensuring that they can focus on living a happier, healthier life with fewer limitations.
More stories like Ms. Walker's will be shared in upcoming editions of "Pressing Forward With Progress."
Don't forget to share this and other Stories of Progress with your friends and colleagues.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Disability & Employment: The Good, Bad and Better

Billy, Progress Inc. client, attaches instructions to a refurbished Comcast Cable remote control.
The Good

The U.S. Labor Department delivered great news Friday - unemployment numbers are lower than they've been in more than two years. About 200,000 new jobs were added in December alone. That news brings a glimmer of hope to all Americans facing unemployment.

The Bad
However, on the heels of that good news, Disability Scoop reported the unfortunate job outlook for Americans with disabilities. Unemployment for that group of workers increased slightly from 13 percent in November to 13.5 percent in December.

The Better

Those numbers could see a shift by next month. The employment outlook recently improved for several Progress Inc. clients in need of work.
Several of our clients now have employment thanks to a new partnership with Comcast Cable. Comcast has agreed to ship more than 3,000 used and/or slightly damaged remote controls to our Day Center, so that our folks can inspect, clean and package them for reuse. The partnership is in the process of becoming a great Facility Based program that offers our older adults with intellectual disabilities a meaningful work day.

The remotes are shipped monthly, and Comcast could add to our shipment further down the line giving even more adults with intellectual disabilities an opportunity at a fulfilling work day. Future corporate partnerships will ensure that more of the folks we serve will find ways to attain and keep employment. More details about those partnerships will be announced in a later post.

"We have some folks that are aging that don’t want to participate in community-based activities, but would still like to be productive in their day. This partnership has provided that for these folks," said Susan Hutchison, Associate Director of Day Programs at Progress Inc.

Comcast employees and Progress Inc. staff and clients that work on the refurbishing project.