Last updated: March 10. 2014 5:51PM - 658 Views
By Scott Ballard District Attorney

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I want to share a story that Jim Hanna, our pastor at Inman Methodist, told in a sermon.

He said he talked with a man who had been greatly inconvenienced by the recent power outages caused by the ice and snow. None of his gadgets worked. He couldn’t recharge his laptop, iPhone, iPad, or Kindle. He couldn’t play his video games. No TV, no DVD movies—he couldn’t text anybody or communicate by phone or email.

All he could do was sit on the couch and talk with his wife. “She seems like a nice lady,” he said.

We’ve all been hit by a tidal wave of new technology. It’s wonderful, but a little frightening at the same time.

Last week I listened as my son, David, and his employer from Albany, Georgia discussed the nuts and bolts of their plan for David to continue to work for that firm while located in Fayetteville. That will permit him to practice law with my Daddy here and maintain his salary and benefits with the Albany firm.

They talked about “the cloud”, “servers” and stuff like that. It wasn’t long before they were over my head. After the first sentence, actually.

That’s the wonderful part. What is frightening is that all this technology opens up new ways for criminals to operate. Fortunately, law enforcement seems up to the task of combating geeky criminals.

What I worry about, as usual, are the more vulnerable members of our communities. Children, the handicapped and the elderly.

That leads me to this. Elder abuse is more rampant than anyone wants to admit. And much of that abuse is financial in nature. I’m preparing myself to help those victims and part of that preparation is education. I want to learn all that I can about the ways criminals financially exploit the elderly so we can put a stop to it.

Maybe you would like to learn how you can help. If so, you may wish to attend an event sponsored by Robert Goldberg, an elder law attorney. We’ll view a film and have a panel discussion that should help us learn how to detect, report and prevent elder abuse.

The event is open to the public and will take place at NCG Theater in Sharpsburg at 6 PM on March 26. I hope to see you there.

Oh, and during the film, please silence your cell phones!

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