By Cassandra Ng, Administrative Assistant
This month, we’re highlighting SMP Ambassador Wayne April!
After retiring 5 years ago, Wayne joined Pasadena Village to have an outlet to participate in activities, such as their monthly hiking group and Friday walks, where participants take turns leading 1-2 mile walks around Pasadena. He also chairs their Education committee, organizing an interesting array of events, meetings, and presentations, and serves on a team that deals with residents’ issues. This is similar to the work he did before his retirement.
Pre-retirement, Wayne worked for 20 years at Kaiser as a social worker in geriatrics. As a case manager, he saw a lot of elder abuse cases. He identified problems reported and interviewed seniors to see how he could help to fix the situation. Sometimes, in talking to a senior, he would find that someone had moved in with them and had taken over their property and finances, something that was hard to track when the individual had cognitive processing declines. Wayne says he has seen people lose their furniture and many of their assets to scammers.
Wayne connected with our California Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) after a presentation our SMP Director, Micki Nozaki, gave at the San Diego Elder Abuse Coalition. He responded to her follow-up email asking for SMP ambassadors and liaisons, and the rest is history. Wayne’s SMP ambassador work includes passing out our SMP fraud alerts, educating seniors about fraud, and attending Zoom meetings and events to stay up to date with the latest information. He follows fraud cases in the newspaper closely. He hopes that soon they will be able to do in person events to connect with seniors and pass out materials.
Some fraud advice from Wayne: Fraud doesn’t care about how much money you have, and it’s happening every day and everywhere!
Thank you for all the hard work you do, Wayne! We are proud to have you as an SMP ambassador!