Police departments check on senior citizens with "Are You Okay?" program

Posted at 8:00 PM, Apr 08, 2017

The older we get, the more complicated life gets.

And as we age, a lot of times, family members move away, leaving some of our seniors in the community living alone.

But one program is looking to make those residents lives easier and safer.

Toma Montenar, 74, is a little different than most of her neighbors.

“A lot of the people that live here do have families close by," she said.

But none of her family members are nearby her Fairview Park home. The closest is her son, who is two hours away in Columbus.

“Since I'm still feeling mobile, I haven't gone to the alert system,” said Montenaro.

Instead, she relies on Fairview Park's police program called "Are You Okay?"

Here's how it works:

A computer system at the police station is set up to call seniors or neighbors who are disabled, living alone, at a specific time every day, asking if the person is OK.

If they answer and they're fine, great, no further assistance needed. However, if they don't, a relative will be called. If that doesn't work, an officer is dispatched to the house to personally check on that resident, free of charge.

“If there's a problem they are here," said Montenaro.

“For the most part it's just the reassurance that somebody is there that cares about them, that if something happens we are available to them," said Lieutenant Shepard.

Montenaro says it's the peace of mind she's needed to make her feel safe and sound.

“I just wanted the comfort. It was just something I just thought I wanted to have," she said. 

In addition to the Fairview Park Police Department, other cities have taken up the "Are You Okay?" program, like Brookay Park and Parma Heights.

Learn more about the program here.