MADERA COUNTY – Every year there are countless cases of people dying alone in their homes. Sometimes it is days or even weeks before anyone knows they are gone. Sheriff John Anderson is determined to afford these citizens some dignity.In his role as County Coroner, Anderson says he sees this situation all too often. “People die alone, and no one knows. I don’t think that’s right. We owe people some dignity, even after they die.”
On Wednesday, Nov. 14, the sheriff will be holding a press conference in Madera to announce a new and unique calling service developed specifically for those who live alone, may be house-bound and do not have the services of an in-home attendant.
The new service will allow residents to receive automated calls each day to check on their well-being. People can decide how many calls they will receive, up to three per day, and designate the times.
When the phone rings, they can press “1” to indicate that all is well. They can press “2” to let the sheriff’s department know that they need assistance, and a deputy will be sent out to their home. If there is no answer, one of the Citizens on Patrol will be dispatched to check on them.
“We need people to sign up, or sign up someone who needs this service,” says Anderson. “We will often get a call from someone saying they haven’t seen Mrs. Jones’s dog in a while, and they haven’t seen her, can you come and check. It’s very sad, and we owe this to our population.”
The Madera County Sheriff’s Office has spent two years designing and implementing this system, which is being provided at no cost to Madera County tax payers. It has been funded through a grant from the Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians.