Firefighters, COA work to help keep seniors safe
The Westport Fire Department is teaming up with the Westport Council on Aging to create a new program designed to help to keep closer track of the town's older adults and others who may be at risk in their homes.
Fire Chief Brian Legendre announced that the Westport Cares Program will offer services intended to help keep these community members safe and in their own homes.
As the number of elderly Americans increases, service programs committed to helping older adults live at home with as much dignity and independence as possible must be developed, the chief said.
Westport Cares is an outreach program specifically designed to assist this at risk population.
"This partnership pairs trained professionals from the fire department with outreach workers to enhance an already strong program run through the Westport Council on Aging," Chief Legendre said. The program allows this team, whom many members of the town's older population already know and are comfortable with, "to meet in the safety and privacy of their own homes to discuss ways to make their surroundings safer."
The Westport Cares program provides an opportunity for a friendly well-being check and access to a variety of services specific to the individual’s situation.
The focus of the visit centers on a needs assessment, medical identification program, trip prevention, heating safety, bathroom safety, cooking safety, along with smoke and CO detector checks.
Referral programs already associated with the Council on Aging include Meals on Wheels, Self Help, Food Pantry, transportation options and information regarding the ever-changing and complicated insurance landscape including Medicare.
Westport Cares is an expandable program that will also enable the new wave of community paramedicine to be established here. With the federal implementation of a fundamental change in the nation’s healthcare system, an emphasis will be put on medical outreach programs.
Some of the items offered to participants in the program will be smoke detectors, CO detectors, bath mats, night lights, flashlights, file of life, and home safety information and training.
For more information on receiving assistance for yourself or others through this program, contact Deputy Fire Chief Allen Manley at 508-636-1110.