MADERA COUNTY – More than a dozen Elder Orphans clients will begin receiving their first telephonic welfare checks today, Dec. 20, says Sheriff John Anderson.
Elder Orphans is a program designed by the Madera County Sheriff’s Office to provide older folks living alone with some peace of mind. Clients can rest assured that someone will know if they need help, and that they will be afforded some dignity in the event of their death.
The sheriff’s office allows clients to choose from two calling times daily, says Sheriff Anderson. Morning checks start at 9 a.m., and afternoon checks start at 4 p.m. Clients can choose either morning or afternoon. Or if they prefer, Elder Orphans clients can elect to receive welfare checks both in the morning and afternoon.
When the sheriff’s office calls their home, they will receive a prerecorded message instructing them to either press “1” indicating message received and they are fine; or press “2” to request emergency assistance.
Pressing the number “2” button automatically transfers clients to the Sheriff’s Emergency Dispatch Center.
If the client fails to answer the phone, or the call goes to voice mail, the sheriff’s automated system will continue to call that client three more times every 30 minutes. If no contact is made, a message will appear in the Sheriff’s Emergency Communications Center.
Team Leaders for Citizens On Patrol (COPs) will be notified, and a COPs volunteer will be summoned to check the welfare of that client.
COPs has been in operation since Sheriff Anderson first took office. The basic tenant of volunteers who join the community service program is to provide deputies, as well as Madera County residents and business owners, a much needed and highly effective second set of eyes and ears.
COPs play a vital role in traffic control, search & rescue missions and disasters. While their primary function is to assist law enforcement, many have been trained to work the front lines as first responders. The job requires extensive training and certification – all which is funded by the volunteers themselves.
Erica Stuart, Public Information Officer for the Madera County Sheriff’s Office, says that those who have signed up for the Elder Orphans program are very grateful that the sheriff’s office has implemented such a valuable service. Stuart can be reached at 559-675-7976, for those who wish to sign up. If you would like more information, or know someone who would benefit from the Elder Orphans program, visit www.ElderOrphans.com.