Kitimat postal program keeps seniors safe

A program aims to keep seniors safe, using postal carriers to keep an eye on anything wrong.

A program which sees the Kitimat Snowflake Seniors Centre and the local Post Office teaming up to keep seniors safe in their homes continues.

The Senior Citizens Alert Program has been a long-running Kitimat program which has postal carriers acting as a sentinel to watch for signs of distress in a senior’s home.

For instance mail beginning to pile up at a home is a definite sign something has changed, and a mail carrier would likely be the first person to notice.

The seniors in the program provide forms which include emergency contacts, and the carriers will call the contacts, or if needed the RCMP.

While carriers would act on suspicions regardless, this program formalizes the process and makes sure the people who need to be called get called quickly.

“When it’s inactive, we’re the ones that go up five days a week,” said Brenda Reay, a Kitimat mail carrier.

Another mail carrier, Sam Thompson, says that they’ll keep an eye out for things that “just don’t look right,” from mail piling up to lawns that have been left uncut.

The programmer for the Snowflake Seniors Centre Jocelyn Iannarelli said that signing up for this program expedites the process of tracking down emergency contacts.

“This fills in one of the gaps,” she said.

The program has been mostly popular among recent widowers, but would certainly be a worthwhile project to join no matter if it’s one person or more.

This alert program has been running for over 20 years in Kitimat

Iannarelli hopes that all seniors would participate in the program.

Forms to join can be collected at either the seniors centre, located adjacent to the Riverlodge, or at the post office downtown.