Living alone can be tough for seniors. Some don’t have family to check on them, and they worry that if they fall or suffer a medical emergency and can’t get to the phone, no one will know. That’s why hundreds of police agencies in small towns, suburbs and rural areas are checking in on seniors who live alone by offering them a free automated phone call every day, Stateline reports. Police officials say the computerized calling systems, which are fairly inexpensive and easy to use, provide an important service to a growing senior population that is expected to reach 65 million by 2025. Nearly half of women 75 and older live alone.
Advocates for older adults say telephone check-in programs can help seniors remain independent in their homes and give them — and their family members — peace of mind. “It helps ensure for the elderly person or their family that a phone call is being made every morning, that everything is OK. We’ve gotten incredible feedback on this program,” said Commander Jack Vaccaro of the Lighthouse Point Police Department in Florida, which has nine seniors in its automated daily call program.Automated telephone reassurance systems for seniors began nearly three decades ago. They have grown in popularity and now are used by police departments from California to Massachusetts.