A guardian angel for the elderly
Published: November 12, 2007 | 6827th good news item since 2003
For the homebound and elderly, YANA is a guardian angel.
YANA stands for You Are Never Alone, a program established about a year and a half ago in Spring Valley Lake. It has since expanded to other cities of the High Desert for some time.
Volunteers work under direction of Citizens On Patrol, or COPs, and call the elderly or shut-ins at a specified time each day to make wellness checks — making sure the person called is alert and well.
If there is no answer or the client doesn’t sound right, a COP volunteer, who has been trained in first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation, is sent.
When the COP volunteer arrives, the sheriff’s station will be notified if there is a problem and an ambulance can be dispatched.
Recently, Hank McGill, the COP commander at Spring Valley Lake, made a call on Reba who had insisted she was OK when a volunteer called.
Reba said she had fallen while filling a bird feeder in her backyard but said she was fine even though she had to crawl to the telephone.
When McGill arrived at her home, Reba was in a lot of pain and badly bruised. McGill notified the sheriff’s station and an ambulance was dispatched.
“She was in the hospital for several days,” said McGill. “In spite of having a neighbor next door, who checked on her often, and a sister across the street who did the same, it was YANA that got her the help and care she needed,” McGill said.
The elderly may sign up for this free service by contacting their local sheriff’s office. These well-check calls are made by volunteers, who are not necessarily COPs.
The same person makes the calls each day so the client called gets to know the volunteer and expects the call of a “friend.”