Whitehall Program Uses Seniors To Check On Seniors During Bad Weather

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The cold weather and snow are good reminders to check up on your elderly neighbors to make sure they are okay in these conditions.

This is the first winter for a phone program in Whitehall using seniors to help seniors.

The program is not only providing help but is also taking pressure off the police and fire departments.

"I know that if I was in a predicament, somebody would come and get me,” said Whitehall resident Neva Richardson.

Richardson is signed up for the phone tree through a group at the Whitehall Senior Center.

"We have a lot of people who live alone that are elderly,” said Mayellen Fowler of the Whitehall Senior Citizens Club. “We want to make sure that they are safe and warm."

Fowler says she calls about ten of her members, who in turn contact 10 others on the tree.

If a senior citizen does not respond to the initial call and a follow-up call, then a police officer or a firefighter is sent to do a check.

Those firefighters and police officers carry cards to report if a senior citizen needs food, clothing or heat among other necessities.

"This has helped a lot,” said Capt. Allen Scott of the Whitehall Fire Department.

Whitehall police and fire officials say they rely on the phone tree because they do not have the resources or time to personally check on every senior.

"One of the best things this group could do would be contact the other senior citizens and then let us know which ones needed help,” Scott said.

Richardson says she has not needed the help yet, but she appreciates getting a call.

"It really made me feel like somebody cares, somebody's looking out for me,” Richardson said.