Spencer Takes a Step to Help Town’s Seniors

The Spencer New Leader
By David Dore

SPENCER — With a few strokes of a pen, Spencer became the latest
community to join the Worcester County Sheriff ’s Department’s
TRIAD program.

Sheriff Lewis Evangelidis joined Town Administrator Adam Gaudette, Council on Aging Director Pamela Woodbury, Police
Chief David Darrin and about 30 seniors for the Dec. 6 signing ceremony at the Spencer Senior Center.

“The TRIAD program is a greatpublic safety resource that effectively bridges the gap between local law enforcement, elder service providers, and our senior population,” Evangelidis wrote in a brochure explaining the program. “The primary goal of TRIAD is to empower seniors through continuous education on safety tips, crime prevention and awareness.”

Now that the contract has been signed, the Council on Aging can offer a multitude of services to Spencer’s seniors provided by TRIAD: free house numbers, IRIS eye scans, a 911 cellular phone bank, the File of Life and Project Lifesaver.

“We’re going to do everything in that brochure,” Woodbury said. “We’re going to do everything we can for our seniors.”

Seniors can get free house numbers so emergency personnel can
easily find their homes. The custom wooden signs are made by prison
inmates and have special paint that allow them to be easily seen at
night.

According to the TRIAD brochure, Project Lifesaver “utilizes
state of the art technology that allows law enforcement to find
missing seniors with Alzheimer’s and dementia. Individuals who are
part of the Project Lifesaver program wear a bracelet that emits a
tracking signal. The recovery time averages less than 30 minutes.”

Through the IRIS Recognition program, a sheriff ’s office employee
captures a high-resolution digital photograph of a senior’s eye and
collects other emergency information. The photo and data are
uploaded to a national database so police can use it in case of an emergency, such as when a senior is reported missing.

Also through the TRIAD program, senior citizens can get free refurbished cell phones that can be used to dial 911. They can get not only the phone and charger, but also training on how to use the phone.

Woodbury noted the Spencer Council on Aging had its own 911 cell phone program, but it will now be run through the sheriff ’s office.

State law mandates that all cell phones must be able to call 911,
regardless of whether they are in service.

The File of Life is a brief form that summarizes a senior’s important medical information, such as allergies and medication, so paramedics can provide “the best treatment possible, as quickly as possible,” the brochure stated. The information is put into a red magnetized folder that can be placed on a refrigerator for easy access.

The sheriff ’s office also sponsors seminars, workshops and activities that focus on the safety of seniors.

Along with Spencer, the TRIAD Program is available to seniors in East Brookfield, North Brookfield, West Brookfield and New Braintree.

For more information on TRIAD, visit the Worcester County Sheriff ’s Department website at www.worcestercountysheriff.com or call the Spencer Council on Aging at (508) 885-7546.