Volunteers help elderly residents in Brooks stay safe in their homes

 Waldo County Triad volunteers worked Saturday morning to deliver and install reflective house number signs and carbon monoxide and smoke detectors for elderly Brooks residents.
Courtesy Waldo County Sheriff's Office
Waldo County Triad volunteers worked Saturday morning to deliver and install reflective house number signs and carbon monoxide and smoke detectors for elderly Brooks residents.
Posted Oct. 29, 2013, at 3:25 p.m.

BROOKS, Maine — Life can be hard for Maine’s senior citizens, so this past weekend, local volunteers teamed up in the small town of Brooks to make things a little easier for some of its elderly residents.

The Waldo County Triad, a partnership of senior citizens, law enforcement agencies and local organizations, descended on Brooks on Saturday morning armed with reflective metal house number signs, carbon monoxide and smoke detectors, and other items to deliver or install at 34 homes. The volunteers were joined by members of the Brooks Volunteer Fire Department and the Waldo County Firefighters Association.

“Our whole purpose for existence is to help seniors feel safe and secure in their homes and to stay in their homes longer,” Chief Deputy Jeff Trafton of the Waldo County Sheriff’s Office said Monday.

Toward that end, he and the other volunteers obtained a $1,000 grant to help pay for house number signs, which he said make it much easier for emergency responders to find the homes they are looking for.

“It really helps us,” he said.

Triad tries to visit a couple Waldo County communities a year to do things that make seniors safer in their homes. He said that while some town officials are not too enthusiastic about connecting elderly residents with the partnership’s help, others, including those in Brooks, are. The group sent letters to all residents aged 65 and older, offering them free house number signs, and Brooks Fire Chief Jeff Archer organized their installation and the installation of up to three detectors per house.

The group also distributed free “files of life,” a paper file to store medical and emergency contact information, which elderly citizens are encouraged to fill out and put on the refrigerator where it easily can be located by emergency responders.

“It’s really a big help,” Trafton said.

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