Were you aware that the Bristol County Sheriff's Office has a program that will call and check-in with seniors everyday, including holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas, to make sure everything is all right with them?

The program is called R.U.O.K. – as in, "Are You OK?" – and is completely free.

"This program is all about the safety of our seniors," said Sheriff Thomas M. Hodgson. "If they don't pick up the phone, we'll call back in a few minutes. If we continue to not get through, we'll call an emergency contact, and eventually, a first responder, like a police officer, to perform a wellness check."

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The program provides not only safety, but also peace of mind.

"Presently, there are hundreds of seniors signed up, and the Sheriff's Office is more than happy to add as many as needed to ensure their wellbeing," Hodgson said. "What the senior citizens are saying to us is they feel so much better knowing someone is checking on them everyday. I know firsthand that for many of the seniors we check on, this might be the only call they get all day, so a few minutes of chatting means the world to them."

How is success of the program measured? Hodgson said that over the years, they have saved many lives by alerting emergency contacts when seniors don't answer the phone.

"There have been occasions when someone fell down and was unable to get up or reach the phone, and our program alerted first responders, who found them in distress," he said. "This program has served as a lifeline to countless seniors, and it's among the most highly-regarded and important programs offered by the Sheriff's Office."

Anyone interested in signing up or getting more information should contact Theresa Fournier at (508) 994-8932, or email TheresaFournier@bcso-ma.org.

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