Daily phone calls check health and safety of elderly people who live alone ANNE ARUNDEL SENIORS

January 27, 1993|By Amy P. Ingram | Amy P. Ingram,Contributing Writer

An article in yesterday's Anne Arundel County edition incorrectly stated fee structures for Home Alone Assistance. The fees are based on the services a senior citizen receives.

5) The Baltimore Sun regrets the errors.

Inez Mize, 75, wants to be sure she won't be found like her sister, lying on the floor of her house two days after she died.

So she has signed up for Home Alone Assistance, a service that calls senior citizens each day to check up on them, to make sure they wake up, to remind them to take their medication or just to say "Hi."

FOR THE RECORD - CORRECTION

"You can be well today and dead tomorrow," said Ms. Mize, who lives in Mayo, "If my sister had this service, her life possibly could have been saved."

The service, an expanded version of the county Department of Aging service, calls Ms. Mize twice a day to remind her to take her medicine.

She said she looks forward to the friendly, human voice that speaks to her.

Debra Asberry, also of Mayo, created the service for seniors after hearing about a friend's father who lives alone and suffers from occasional blackouts.

"This, coupled with the fact that the population is aging, led me to believe that this type of service would be a welcome assurance to many," she said.

She discovered that 37,000 seniors live in the county and 8,600 of them live alone.

Ms. Asberry offers monitoring calls to check on clients who can respond merely by pushing a button, and reminder calls, scheduled calls to remind clients of things they have planned that day, or to take their medicine.

If a senior does not answer monitoring calls, Home Alone calls immediate family members.

Ms. Asberry also plans to make personal phone calls to each of her clients each month to discuss their specific needs or just to chat.

"If a senior has specific requirements, I'll meet them," said Ms. Asberry. "Seniors need to know that there's someone looking out for them."

Home Alone Assistance, which Ms. Asberry started on her own, charges a flexible fee for seniors depending on their income.

She said the project is one she believes in because "some day, I'm going to be there."

She said she hopes to expand it in the future to include latchkey children, who also stay home alone.

For more information about the service, call 956-0592.

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