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Orono Police Officers Check In Daily on Area Senior Citizens

Peter Macdiarmid, Getty Images

Life can be pretty scary for senior citizens who live alone. If they slip and fall or have a medical issue, there’s no one nearby to lean on for help. And for some, they could suffer for days before anyone checks on them. So the Orono Police Department decided to do something about it.

The Good Morning program was started several years ago as a way to check on those people most in need in the community. Each morning, officers have a list of seniors and shut-ins that they call, just to say hello and ask if they’re feeling alright or need any help. Sergeant Dan Merrill says it’s a great comfort to the seniors, but also to family members who don’t live nearby.

“We’ve had nothing but great, positive feedback from both the participants and family of the participants to know that they may not be readily available to their mother or father, but they know that we’re here and we check in on them daily. And if we don’t hear from them, we’ll contact the family and say ‘hey did they get taken to the hospital’ or ‘have you heard from them’ or whatnot. Everybody loves it.”

Merrill says they’ll call the contacts on the list and if they still can’t get any answers, an officer will swing by the house to check on them.He says the Good Morning program helps specific residents.

“60 years of age or older and live alone, or have some sort of disability where they live alone. It’s not necessarily a hard line but it’s what most of our senior citizens are. That’s generally who we’re targeting, is the people who live alone who may not be able to get out or have any other interaction. Sometimes we’re the only people that some of the people on our list talk to, so that’s why they’re happy to be on the list.”

For more information about the Good Morning program or to get an application, call Sergeant Dan Merrill at the Orono Police Department.

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