“R U OK?”

elderlyFor the elderly living alone in Clark County, there is a new program being put into practice which will make them feel less alone.  Law enforcement officers will be able to check in on these individuals via the “R U OK? Senior Safe and Sound Program.”  According to Gene Kelly, Clark County Sheriff, this is “another program that will allow seniors to stay in their homes.  What we’ve found in our research of this program is that seniors really appreciate it and their families really appreciate it.”

This is a great option for individuals who are 65 and over along with their caretakers.  Program participants can decide what time to receive the daily call and then if they do not answer, someone on a list of people close to them can be contacted in the case of a problematic issue.  As Kelly pointed out, “the family can rest assured that someone will check on their loved one. If there’s no response, we’ll put things into action.”

This program could go part of the way to addressing the issue of the disturbingly low amount of geriatricians in the country. As Associate Professor of Medicine at Durham’s the Duke University School of Medicine, Dr. Heather Whitson said: “We are not prepared as a nation. We are facing a crisis. Our current health care system is ill equipped to provide the optimal care experience for patients with multiple chronic conditions or with functional limitations and disabilities.”  According to the AGS, the country needs approximately 17,000 geriatricians to care for the around 12 million American seniors.  Right now there are only 7,500 now.