Franklin County Senior, Caregivers and Family Resource Fair held in Wilton

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Detective Michael Mejia of the Jay Police Department serves a meal to participants in the Franklin County Senior, Caregivers and Family Resource Fair held Thursday at the Wilton Public Safety building.

By Ann Bryant, Staff Writer

WILTON — The Franklin County Senior, Caregivers and Family Resource Fair, held Thursday at the Wilton Public Safety building, provided information on available resources pertinent to seniors and those taking care of them.

Fourteen organizations from SeniorsPlus to Western Maine Community Action displayed information about their services in the fire station bays as about 80 participants listened to guest speakers Martha Currier of the Maine Attorney General’s office and Betty Balderston of Legal Service for the Elderly.

“Trust but verify,” Currier, a complaint examiner and Lemon Law administrator at the AG Office, told the gathering. “A scammer plays on people’s vulnerability.”

Just as in teaching children stranger-danger, listen to your gut, she said.

“You can’t be a winner in a contest you have not entered. No pill will make you look 20 again,” she said.

A bank won’t call asking for information, they already have it. Before giving out any information, call the bank to verify they were the ones calling, she said.

She talked about the potential for online dating scams and the grandparent scam where the caller pretends to be a grandchild in trouble.

Detective Michael Mejia of the Jay Police Department serves a meal to participants in the Franklin County Senior, Caregivers and Family Resource Fair held Thursday at the Wilton Public Safety building.

(Ann Bryant/Franklin Journal)

The Attorney General’s office also helps Maine consumers resolve disputes with businesses on a variety of matters including express and implied warranty issues, landlord-tenant, car repairs and car sales, according to their website.

“We’ll mediate for you. There is no value limit on a billing dispute or product,” she said. “We’ll mediate anything.”

Maine also has a Consumer Implied Warranty Law that covers merchandise for four years, she said. If you purchase a $20 toaster and something is wrong with it, you are not out if you did not buy an extended warranty from the seller.

According to a copy of the Maine Consumer Law Guide distributed by the AG’s Office, under the warranty of merchantability, the product will be “fit for the ordinary purposes” for which such products are used. For example, washing machines must be fit for washing clothes. They must be able to do the job washing machines ordinarily do and to last for as long as washing machines ordinarily last. The same is true for toasters, new automobiles, mobile homes, clothing, furniture or other items purchased for family, household or personal use.

Mediation through the AG office resulted in $700,000 returned to consumers last year through either repairs or cash, she said.

Other agencies took turns speaking briefly about their services. Representatives from the agencies including ones from Senator Angus King and Senator Susan Collins were on hand to listen and answer questions.

About 80 participants in the Franklin County Senior, Caregivers and Family Resource Fair listened to guest speakers, were served lunch and given time to talk with 14 area agencies who provide resources for seniors. The fair was held Thursday in the Wilton Public Safety Building.

(Ann Bryant/Franklin Journal)

Town Manager Rhonda Irish asked Wilton residents to complete a survey or community self-evaluation to help the town learn what needs and/or changes would help make Wilton an age-friendly community so aging there a better experience.

Organizers, the PRRAAP Group (Preventing, Recognizing and Responding to Abuse in At-Risk Populations) members, were pleased with the fair attendance, double the size of last year.

The group, Preventing, Recognizing and Responding to Abuse in At-Risk Populations, includes police officers from the Farmington, Jay and Wilton departments, along with members from the legal profession and area social services.

abryant@sunmediagroup.net

Wilton Police Chief Heidi Wilcox talks with Doris Cushman of Wilton Thursday at the Franklin County Senior, Caregivers and Family Resource Fair. Of the nearly 80 participants, the oldest attending was 99, Wilcox said. 

(Ann Bryant/Franklin Journal)

Martha Currier, complaint examiner for the Maine attorney general’s office, right, answers questions as participants in the Franklin County Senior, Caregivers and Family Resource Fair check the vendor displays set up in the fire station bays of the Wilton Public Safety building.

(Ann Bryant/Franklin Journal)

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