TRIAD looks to boost R.U.O.K. enrollment

Published 5:00 am Monday, March 19, 2007

May Brown is grateful for the TRIAD program and the services itoffers the senior citizens and disabled residents of LincolnCounty.

Brown, 71, said when she doesn’t answer the phone, there isalways someone who shows up to check on her.

“They called and they gave me the message about R.U.O.K., andwhen they didn’t hear from me they called back,” said Brown. “Itold them at the time I couldn’t get to the phone. They’ve checkedby my house a lot of times after they didn’t get an answer.”

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TRIAD President Charles Ralph Smith said enrollment in the freeprogram is simple, and can be discontinued at any time. By fillingout basic details on a form, seniors like Brown can be assured thatsomeone is keeping tabs on their well-being.

“Every day the computer calls them at the time they’vedesignated,” said Smith, who is also Post One constable. “If youdon’t answer, we will call the contact numbers you’ve given us orsend an officer by to check on you.”

The service has been in the works for several years, but overallpublic awareness of it ebbs and flows. Law enforcement officialssay because it’s quick to enroll and is a great insurance thatsomeone establishes contact with members daily, it’s not worthpassing up.

“At this time we’ve got about 18-20 people enrolled in theprogram in the city and the county,” said Sheriff Steve Rushing.”If there are more people who need the service, we’d love to getthem involved.”

Brown said that is the reason she values the program.

“They started calling me every morning at 8:30 like clockwork,”she said. “So I was prepared to answer and when I felt bad I couldtell them I needed assistance and someone would come out and checkon me.”

Angie Roberson, vice-president of TRIAD, said there are as manystories about people who needed the service and weren’t enrolled asthere are about people who are glad to have used the service. Assuch, said Roberson, seniors and disabled should enroll, even ifonly for their own safety.

“There was a woman who was in her house on the floor for a day,and a neighbor kept calling her and calling her and she didn’tanswer,” she said. “Finally the neighbor just went in. This servicecould have really benefitted her.”

TRIAD member Millard Smith said R.U.O.K. is not the only serviceTRIAD offers for seniors.

“We focus on senior citizens and crime prevention,” he said. “Alot of our work is funded through the Mississipp Leadership Councilon Aging. We have banquets every year, and we host the Spring Flingat the Multi-Purpose Building in April.”

The Spring Fling is a chance for senior citizens to visitinformational booths and have their blood pressure checked and testtheir glucose, among other things. Entertainment, food and doorprizes are also provided.

Post Two Constable Lavon Boyd said the Spring Fling, scheduledfor April 10 from 9 a.m.-noon, will be great fun for everyone.

“And there will be good food, so come hungry,” Boyd saidThursday while discussing planning for the event.

Citizens interested in any of the TRIAD programs are encouragedto call (601)835-5502 and leave a message for more information.