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New program will provide well-being checks for elder citizens who live alone

Contributed • Apr 24, 2018 at 8:07 PM

ELIZABETHTON — The Seniors and Law Enforcement Together organization and the Carter County Sheriff’s Department have announced a new program, Elder Care, which is intended to provide regular well-being checks for elderly individuals who live alone.

Under the Elder Care program, the department’s school resource officers will check up on elderly people who opt-in to the program. Throughout each week, the SROs will give elders either a regular phone call or, after school closes for the day, an in-person visit to make sure they are well.

In Elizabethton, 32 percent of seniors live alone. Across the state, 37 percent of people 65 and older live by themselves, according to Census data.

The SALT Council and Sheriff Dexter Lunceford believe that checks on seniors in the community can help reassure elders who do not receive regular visits from family or friends, and it can help improve response time in the event of a medical emergency.

“We don’t want someone to get hurt while living alone and no one know about it,” Lunceford said. “Our deputies can help make sure that if there is a need, we can try to resolve it before something bad happens.”

SALT will coordinate the program with the sheriff’s department’s cooperation. Elders or family and friends will be able to sign up on the sheriff’s department website, www.sheriff.cc, or at the Elizabethton Senior Center. Applications can also be found at the Elizabethton/Carter County Public Library.

For information about signing up, call the Elizabethton Senior Center at 423-543-4362.

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