Vidalia Police Department checks on elderly with ‘Are You OK?’ program

City of Vidalia offers "Are You Okay' program to help elderly

VIDALIA, GA (WTOC) - With the colder weather upon us it is especially important to check on our seniors.

The City of Vidalia has a program that does just that.

The Vidalia Police Department started the “Are you ok?” program back in 2006. The free program allows families to sign up their elderly family members to be on a call list for the police department.

People 65-years-old or older or are at-needs, can be placed on the call list. This allows them to live alone and still remain independent. Once the person is placed on the list dispatchers will call them as frequently as they would like.

It could be day or night or as many times a day as they wish. Vidalia Police Officers are not given keys to get into homes of people on the call list. Instead, they are given an emergency contact who can let them inside if there is a problem.

The Vidalia Police Chief Frank Waits says the program seems to give families a piece of mind leaving their loved ones to live on their own.

“We have helped people who have fallen during the night," said Waits. "They have laid there until we tried to call them. They don’t answer the phone, we wait five minutes, we call back. If they don’t answer the phone, then we send an officer.”

Right now, they call about 40 people once a day.

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