R U OK to Go Live Jan. 1

Police Lt. Tom Ringley. (Photo by Pat Blair)
Police Lt. Tom Ringley. (Photo by Pat Blair)

A new telephone program aimed at helping ensure the welfare of dementia patients in Sheridan County is scheduled to go live on Jan. 1.

Sheridan Police Lt. Tom Ringley said the program is called R U OK.

He said if the person hits the key that indicates he or she isn't ok, or if the person doesn't answer, then the police or sheriff's department will make a welfare check. The first time, he said, the dispatcher will try to contact the person by phone. If that fails, then an attempt will be made to contact the individual in person.

Ringley said the program is a collaboration among Dementia Friendly Wyoming, the police department and the Sheridan County Sheriff's Office. He said the program will start with dementia patients, but plans are to expand the help to other need groups.

He said the program has a lot of potential to help several groups in the county, and the organizers are very excited about it.

He said once the program goes live, more information will be provided, such as how people can sign up for the program. He said a core group of people have already been identified to receive the service when it goes live.

Ringley said most of those targeted for the service are shut-ins, people who don't have contact with others during the course of the day, or whose contact is primarily through home visits by caregivers or social services. He said the program goal is not only to make sure they're all right but also to provide some interaction in their lives.

Ringley in a lighter moment. (Photo by Pat Blair)
Ringley in a lighter moment. (Photo by Pat Blair)

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