VALPARAISO | The Valparaiso Police Department’s Senior Care Program helps registered seniors stay informed and safe.
The program, launched in 2010, focuses on seniors who did not have caregivers or relatives in the area. Those that register for the program will be contacted during an activation to make sure the individual is OK and to see if he or she is in need of assistance.
Activations are prompted by weather occurrences such as damaging winds, severe thunderstorms, heavy rain or flooding and severe cold or hot temperatures. Hazmat spills, power outages or catastrophic events will also trigger the program.
“Chief (Michael) Brickner and the department believed there was a need to help seniors in the city when severe weather or incidents occur,” said Sgt. Michael Grennes, Valparaiso Police Department’s public information officer.
The program was activated three times in 2013. Two activations were during the summer months because of excessive heat. The third activation was in December because of cold temperatures.
“Many times seniors appreciate a phone call during poor weather conditions to confirm they have heat or air conditioning and/or any other needs not being fulfilled,” Grennes said. “Many times that phone call or visit by an officer reassures the senior that someone does care about them and how they are doing.
“The program re-enforces how important it is for all of us to check on our neighbors during poor weather conditions and help when help is needed. Many times just asking, ‘How are you doing and do you need any help with anything?’ goes a long way.”
A total of 14 individuals were registered for the program in 2013.
For more information on the program, including details on how to sign up, visit www.valparaisopolice.org.