TRIAD Spring Fling draws big crowd

Published 5:00 am Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Bobbie McCaffree has long been a fan of TRIAD, especially theiryearly “Spring Fling” event – because she said the informationsupplied there provides knowledge and options to people who mightfeel somewhat alone in the world.

“I think it’s wonderful to have this because a lot of peopledon’t have a husband or a wife to watch out for them anymore, andthis gets them out,” she said. “Plus, the programs here teach themways to take care of themselves, and shows them that someone stillcares about them.”

McCaffree was one of almost 200 seniors that turned out for theevent at the Multi-Purpose Facility Tuesday morning to browse 13booths, listen to speakers and enjoy lunch.

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TRIAD Vice President Angie Roberson said she was pleased withthe turnout and the involvement of attendees with the variousbooths.

“There are plenty of new faces this year,” she said. “Each yearwe end up with more and more new people.”

And that shows the success of the program overall, said TRIADPresident Charles Ralph Smith. In the nine years the event has beenheld, it has come a long way.

“Our first one we had about 20 people,” he said. “And this yearwe’ve got a good crowd.”

Smith said while the booths that allow seniors to find out abouthome health agencies, hospital and health care services, and otherpertinent issues are an important facet of the Spring Fling,there’s more to it than a day of blood pressure checks and doorprizes.

“We really want to get the word out about our RUOK program,” hesaid, referring to a program sponsored by TRIAD that calls seniorcitizens regularly to make sure they’re answering the phone.

The RUOK program allows seniors to set up a call schedule, saidVicki Magee, who oversees the program in the Lincoln CountySheriff’s Department’s dispatch office. The schedule can be set forevery day at a certain time, or only on certain days, and signup iseasy.

“It calls you at a certain time that you designate and if youdon’t answer, it calls the next contact on your list,” she said.”If you have a cell phone number, that would be the first contact,then would be a next of kin, and then other family members and soforth.”

If the senior cannot be located, law enforcement is dispatchedto their home to check on their welfare, she said.

While many seniors balk at the idea of signing up for thecalling service, it’s still a good idea because anyone can fall illor have an accident in their home, she said.

“A lot of people say they don’t want to sign up because they’repretty independent,” Magee said. “But if something did happen, thisis a good way to make sure that someone is checking on you and cansend emergency help if it’s needed.”

Smith said the other program TRIAD promotes throughout the yearis one that offers free reflective signs with house numbers toanyone who asks for them. It’s not only a courtesy, but a safetymeasure, he said.

“As a law enforcement officer, and I’m sure I speak forambulance personnel and firefighters as well, it’s importantespecially in the rural areas to have visible numbers so emergencyworkers can find a house if something goes wrong,” he said.