Clark County program will check on senior citizens

A new program will allow local law enforcement officers to check on Clark County senior citizens who live alone and might need assistance.

Clark County Sheriff Gene Kelly announced the “R U OK? Senior Safe and Sound Program” before the TRIAD meeting on Thursday afternoon at United Senior Services, 101 S. Fountain Ave.

“It’s another program that will allow seniors to stay in their homes,” Kelly said. “What we’ve found in our research of this program is that seniors really appreciate it and their families really appreciate it.”

Clark County residents 65 and older or their family members can register for the program, which will provide an automated daily phone call to check on the person. The person must answer the phone and select the correct button. If there’s no answer, a response will be made by law enforcement, Kelly said.

Many people have relatives who live alone, have a disability or are incapacitated, Kelly said. The person specifies what time they’d like to be checked on and will receive an automated phone call each and every day from the Clark County Sheriff’s Dispatch Center, Kelly said. They’ll also have a list of people to contact for each individual, he said.

“The family can rest assured that someone will check on their loved one,” Kelly said. “If there’s no response, we’ll put things into action.”

The program cost about $1,000, Kelly said. A similar program has been available in Mad River Twp., he said.

“We wanted to make it available to all residents,” Kelly said.

The program is a good idea, especially for people who don’t have relatives who live nearby, said 83-year-old Springfield resident Dan Hackett. He lives alone, but receives phone calls from his children every day.

“They check on me on a pretty regular basis,” Hackett said.

The program is a real need in the community, United Senior Services Executive Director Maureen Fagans said. The organization often has family members ask them to check on their relatives, Fagans said, which they typically do for members through the Meals on Wheels program.

“If somebody doesn’t have our services, we don’t have a mechanism to give them a regular call or check-in,” Fagans said. “It’s a great service.”

Registration forms will be available at ClarkCountyOhio.gov or at the Clark County Sheriff’s Office, 120 N. Fountain Ave. For more information, call Mike Combs at 937-521-2073.