Senior News

By Diane Kittelson, Pope County Senior Services Consultant/Coordinator 

The Annual Senior Citizens Summer Party will be held at the Minnewaska House on Thursday, June 29, 2023, at 11:30 a.m. The menu is sloppy joes, beans, salad, brownies, coffee and lemonade. Door prizes will be given away, and grab bags for sale. The cost this year is $8. Tickets must be purchased in advance and can be bought at Western Prairie Human Services, 211 East Minnesota Ave, Glenwood, or by calling 320-634-7755 to reserve a ticket and pay for it at the door. The Pope County Council on Aging member will also be selling tickets. All senior citizens are invited. It is always a festive event with Independence Day right around the corner.

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Our next Coffee with a Cop will be held on Tuesday, June 6, at 9 a.m. in Lowry at the Community Center. All senior citizens are welcome to join us. This is sponsored by the Pope County Triad, which is made up of Senior Citizens, Law Enforcement and Community Member Services. If you have questions, please call Diane at 320-634-7837.

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The Better Business Bureau (BBB) has issued information about staying safe when paying medical bills. The BBB reports there is a scam where you receive a letter or call informing you that you owe money on a medical bill. If you follow up, the “billing department” will insist that you need to pay immediately. If you do not, you will allegedly face consequences, such as fines, damage your credit score or even jail time. Eager to settle your debts, you provide your credit or debit card number. But before you pay, the scammer will ask you to confirm your name address, and other sensitive information, which may include your Social Security or bank account number.

This scam has several versions. In some cases, the bill and medical services are entirely fabricated. For example, one person told BBB scam tracker that they received a medical bill for $500 for COVID testing that supposedly occurred in January. That person did a check of the website, and it was not registered as a live site until late May. They were also out of state on the date the claim said they were tested. Other times, the doctor’s visit was real, but the company claiming they owed money was a scam. One person reported they received a medical bill, so they called the billing department number on the bill, and they were told they had miss-dialed the number and were re-directed to a possible scam-agency. In this case the fake billing department asked for the caller’s email, credit card details, birthday and other personal information. Then, they told the caller they had taken care of the bill and would send an email confirmation. Neither were true. No matter what pretense the scam uses, giving scammers your personal details put you at risk for identity theft and the money you paid them may be lost for good.

The BBB Scam Tracker is a free tool anyone can use to report suspected scams. Your reports warn others so they can avoid similar cons. To utilize this, go to If you have other scam concerns you can call local law enforcement to report it 320-634-5411, the Senior Linkage Line 1-800-333-2433 or your local Senior Coordinator 320-634-7755.