How local seniors + caregivers are learning to avoid healthcare scams


The Annual Fraud Summit took place at the Gardendale Civic Center. (Ben Johnson / Bham Now)

To help local seniors, their families and their caregivers avoid healthcare scams and financial exploitation, the United Way Area Agency on Aging (UWAAA) hosted their annual Fraud Summit in Gardendale. We were able to attend the event to see what it was all about. Keep reading for an inside look + important resources for the seniors in your life.

The Annual Fraud Summit

Here’s what guests learned

Matt Tootle, FBI (L), Mayor Stan Hogeland (R) (Susan Hackney / UWCA)

Throughout the day, speakers from the FBI, the Alabama Securities Commission and the Better Business Bureau shared vital information and answered questions from the audience.

The experts spoke on a variety of topics, including:

  • The many ways that criminals attempt to overcharge, or steal from, seniors.
  • The warning signs of fraud and abuse.
  • How to protect your personal information and avoid getting scammed.
  • What to do if you are, or suspect that you may be, a victim.

“There is over $60 billion lost in fraud, abuse and errors each year. We are trying to educate the seniors in the community about the most popular scams, whether it’s the romance scam or the grandparents scam, so they will know what to do if they have a scammer that does try to victimize them.”

Ashley Lemsky, Assistant Director, UWAAA

The Area Agency on Aging is enhancing the lives of seniors

Fraud Summit Vendor Visit 1 How local seniors + caregivers are learning to avoid healthcare scams
The event was full of smiling faces. (UWAAA)

UWAAA of Jefferson County assesses the needs of seniors, distributes funds to provide helpful services, implements a wide range of programs and provides counseling about available resources to senior citizens, people with disabilities and caregivers.

Here are just a few of the ways UWAAA makes sure seniors are living life to their fullest potential:

“UWAAA can definitely help those aging in place. We have our aging and disability resource center that screens them for all of our services and programs, as well as gives them community resources.”

Ashley Lemsky, Assistant Director, UWAAA

A look at UWAAA’s impact

To get a better understanding of the work UWAAA does, we took a look at this past year’s numbers:

  • 11,023 seniors and caregivers were assisted by UWAAA in 2022.
  • 123,354 meals were served through UWAAA at area senior centers last year.
  • 3,240 seniors received free, unbiased Medicare counseling in 2022.
  • 20,378 hours of respite care were provided to family caregivers in 2022.
  • 10,095 hours of in-home personal assistance were provided last year.

Learn more about UWAAA’s wide range of services for seniors and people with disabilities at or call 1-800-AGE-LINE.

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Callie Puryear
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