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Boyd sheriff launching new program to help seniors

CATLETTSBURG Boyd Sheriff Bobby Jack Woods is developing a program he hopes will save elderly citizens from preventable death.

The program is called Check On A Senior Today, or COAST. Woods said it’s a duplicate of a program, created by the Rowan County Sheriff’s Department, he learned about during the Kentucky Sheriff’s Association conference.

“From time to time, the (Boyd County) sheriff’s department will answer calls about an elderly person found dead at home,” said Woods. “Somethings they’ve been dead a day, two days, or five days, because they don’t have any relatives that live here to check on them.”

COAST “won’t cost the county a dime,” Woods said.

He said he’s seeking family members or friends of local elders who need help checking on their loved ones. Woods is recruiting other senior citizens, who must undergo background checks, to serve as callers for the program.

“They will ask, hello, ‘Mrs. Jackson, Mr. Smith,’ how are you doing today, do you need anything?” Woods said.

If a “Mrs. Jackson” or “Mr. Smith” doesn’t answer the phone, the sheriff’s department will travel to their homes to check on them, Woods said.

Woods said he spoke with Rowan County Sheriff Matt Sparks more about the program recently, and Sparks told him the success has led the seniors involved to anticipate phone calls each day.

Woods said he’s already received a couple of requests from residents to serve as callers.

“Hopefully, by doing this, we’ll be able to save some lives,” he said.

COAST will likely begin in mid-December.

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