Sep 17, 2013

What type of survey is Serving Our Seniors sending out?

I recently received a survey from Serving Our Seniors addressed to me. Can you help me understand what this is about? Audrey in Perkins Township

Note: A technical glitch caused a delay in posting today's Mailbag. Check back at noon Wednesday for the next question-and-answer installment.

Serving Our Seniors recently sent out a survey for older adults who are residents of Erie County and living in rental housing.

"We're trying to determine what their needs are," agency executive director Sue Daugherty said. "The findings are used to help Serving Our Seniors study what do older adults need to help them maintain their independence."

The Mailbag is a daily feature on Every weekday at noon, we will post one question-and-answer from a resident. To ask a question, send a letter to The Mailbag at 314 W. Market St., or e-mail Please include your first name and a location in the e-mail, e.g. “John from Decatur Street."


The Answer Person

Audrey could try reading it...


The letter that came with the survey explained exactly what it was for.


Really? And where did they GET that list, hmmm? Did all of the people on that list "opt in" for that kind of junk mail? Did any of those people ask that their names be made available to people doing surveys (or whatever)? It's none of their business how old you are, where (or how) you live, or what your needs are unless you CHOOSE to make it their business.

Publicize your offerings? Sure! Put out a public request for information on how else you might help? Okay! But glean mailing addresses and other information (such as renting or owning a home, for example) from some government database or another (anyone wanna bet it's the Census, the one that promised not to share any data with anybody?), and I consider you as much of a nuisance (at best) as all of the OTHER junk mailers, spammers, robocallers, etc.

What's worst of all is that seniors are typically the most likely to be victimized by junk mail, and the most likely to answer questions they shouldn't. I'm sure that this survey is harmless and Serving Our Seniors isn't into identity theft or sending your money to Nigeria, but what about all of those that aren't?

THERE'S a service that seniors apparently need: How NOT to fill out unsolicited surveys that show up in their mailboxes!

Stop It

Amen, Samantha. I chase many of these things off for my mom. E-mail, snail mail and phone calls..The lady is in her mid 70's and wants to be the polite person she was raised to be...I always tell her to ask me first. I've chased people of her porch while I am at her house. I listen to the spiel for bout two minutes, get up from the chair and run them off. they always have cuss words to throw my way when they know they are busted. Last one said, "my mom is your age and I sold her this and that, you can trust me"..I heard that, jumped up and said get the F of this porch and don't come back or I promise, something you won't like will happen. He said, "well, thank you for your time, As*hole"! Mom took the hint.

Licorice Schtick

Sung to the tune of "Are You Sleeping" ("Frère Jacques") -

Paranoia! Paranoia!
Watching you! Watching you!
They're all out to get me! They're all out to get me!
And you, too! And you, too!

Stop It

Cram it, Lic. I'm one of those you should fear. I am not afraid of death in the least bit. I will welcome it.


I have come to the conclusion that there is no such thing as privacy anymore but you don't have to voluntarily give any additional information out. People are asking why too much information from us then need be.


Sue Daugherty does an outstanding job at Serving Our Seniors. I am sure she does not do anything unethical. No one forces you to answer a survey. Either fill it out or toss it. No problem.


No one is accusing Ms. Daugherty or Serving Our Seniors with any wrongdoing. The issues here are twofold:

1. Where did they get the mailing list that included everybody who rents and is over a certain age, and

2. Too many seniors don't know they can EITHER fill it out or toss it out.