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  • Thomas Geyer

RICO will check in on seniors via telephone

Source: The Rock Island News, Thomas Geyer

Rock Island County board members approved funding Tuesday for an automated calling system that will check on the welfare of elderly people signed up for the service.

The system will be a county-wide 24-hour automated system that will call participating seniors to check their welfare and assure their safety.

“We will order the [system] as soon as possible,” said Rock Island County Sheriff Mike Huff. “Once we get it integrated and get training, we’ll begin the program. We hope to have it operational by the end of the year.”

Huff said the system is completely voluntary and there are no fees to pay.

“We will call them at whatever level of comfort they want,” he said of the seniors who sign up for the program. “If they have no one to check on them we may recommend a daily call. If they have home health care Monday through Friday we may recommend only a weekend call.

“They will choose the day or how many days we are to call and at what time or times,” he said. “We will have acquired enough information about them, names of their friends, family members, their doctor and medications, that we’ll have enough data to do a follow up if necessary that includes sending a deputy to their home.”

According to the company’s Web site, the system can send automatic phone messages over multiple phone lines at once. Other options include greeting messages that can either be customized or randomized depending upon what the subscriber wants.

Police or fire departments can be primary or backup responders. And it can connect volunteers, family or friends for non-emergency conversations.

Messages can also include a reminder to take medication.

The Rock Island County system will be run through the Sheriff’s Department.


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