A large number of seniors in Osceola County live alone, without any family nearby. But the St. Cloud Police Department makes sure those seniors get looked in on regularly, thanks to their "Senior Watch Program."
- St. Cloud Police, Osceola Council on Aging partners in program
- Police officers check on seniors living alone once a week
- For program information, call: 407-847-2144
Created in partnership with the Osceola Council on Aging, the Senior Watch Program puts St. Cloud police officers in touch with area seniors who live alone through weekly scheduled visits.
76-year-old Gail Petty is one such resident. While most of her family lives in Virginia, on the weekends she gets a special visit from St. Cloud Police officer Scott O’Neill, who drops by as part of the program.
“The first thing they will say is, 'You need anything? Are you okay?' And what normal person does that?" said Petty. "It’s wonderful, it gives you a sense of security."
From changing light bulbs to engaging in conversation, Officer O'Neill's visits have created a priceless bond between the two.
"They have stories to tell, and a lot of the people shy away because they don't wanna hear it," said O'Neill. "In this age of technology, people don’t know how to communicate.”
For some seniors in the program, it may just be a knock on the door. But to others like Petty, it means much more than that.
“Several of the police officers are like family. They’re wonderful people," said Petty. "Anyone who says anything bad about the police, I get very angry, very angry."
And while saying goodbye can be a little tough sometimes, Petty says she’s always looking forward to the next visit.
For more information on the Senior Watch Program and other services provided by the Osceola Council on Aging, call 407-847-2144.