The Senior’s Safety Check In Program launched in January, aimed at seniors 65 and older who are living alone in Queens.
Three times a week volunteers with the VON in Queens will call the client’s home, making sure they are OK. If the client cannot be reached, the volunteer tries calling one of three other contacts the client has provided to see if they can check in on the person.
If the volunteer cannot contact either the client or the alternative contacts, they will then contact the RCMP to ask them to check in on the senior.
A similar program has been in place for several years in Lunenburg County, but has only been done informally in Queens County.
Queens County seniors’ safety coordinator Linda Wentzell says she has been looking to get a program like this for the county for the past five years, but things didn’t seem to fall in place. Now however the resources are in place and the program is ready to go.
Part of the reason for starting the program is because the RCMP in Queens would get calls from family members to check in on parents.
“We have a lot of seniors in Queens County whose children don’t live here,” says Cst. Laura Cormier. This program will take pressure of the RCMP, she says.
Forms to sign up for the program will be available at the VON, the RCMP station, doctors’ offices, and the hospital. Forms can them be dropped off at the VON, RCMP station or returned by mail.
The calling is done by VON volunteers who have been pre-screened with a police check, and is available to any resident of Queens County.
Though the program is not a life safety service such as Northwood Lifeline, it is designed to give family and the client piece of mind that someone is checking in on them.
VON transportation program
The VON’s transportation program continues to be a popular program, says Lynn Goodwin, site manager for the Queens VON.
The transportation program provides free drives for seniors going to things like medical appointments, grocery shopping and other errands. Staffed by volunteers, the car goes out Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays between 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. and serves the Liverpool, Milton and Brooklyn areas. Appointments must be booked one week in advance and priority will be given to medical appointments. Donations are appreciated.
The Queens VON also launched their Facebook page, located by searching “Queens County VON,” aimed at keeping residents of Queens updated on the latest happenings with the VON.
To contact the VON, call 354-3249.
Seniors’ Safety Academy
The seniors’ safety academy returns this month as well, going from Feb. 15 to March 14. The program goes from 1-3 p.m. at the Trinity Anglican Church.
Wentzell, the organizer of the academy, says there area several topics in store for seniors this time around, including:
Ground Search and Rescue, on what to do if getting lost;
Department of Natural Resources on what to do if encountering a wild animal;
Recycling with Region 6 solid Waste;
The Victoria Order of Nurses;
The academy is free of charge. To register, contact Wentzell at 354-3691.