Tele-Care checks on seniors, shut-ins
Anyone interested in signing up for the Tele-Care Program or wanting to be a volunteer caller should call LaRene Baker at 458-2908.
LaRene Baker has made dozens of friends over the years — friends she has never met face to face.
"I call them my friends because I have talked to them so much," said Baker, who has been the chairwoman of the Tele-Care Program for 10 years.
"I have heard all their problems and about all their good times," she said.
Right now, though, Baker is concerned that the growing number of seniors and shut-ins in Colusa County are not even aware of the Tele-Care Program, which was started more than 25 years ago through the hospital auxiliary.
The auxiliary still runs the program, which is designed to call individuals every day to make sure they are OK.
The calls are usually just a few minutes long, but Baker admits the volunteers do develop relationships over time.
There are 15 volunteer callers in the program, but only two people use the free service.
"A lot of people have their own caretakers, but a lot don't," she said.
Baker is hoping to reach out to those people.
The program was started by Joyce Laux, who was president of the auxiliary at the time.
The number of people using the service has gone up and down over the years, but the value of the service has never changed.
Baker said she remembers vividly individuals who needed medical attention, and when they did not answer the phone, the service was able to bring that help to them.
Baker said each person using the service has an alternate number, a neighbor or relative. If the volunteers can not reach the person they are calling, then that person is called.
Each volunteer is trained to follow a certain criteria with the single goal of making sure the person they are trying to reach is OK.
She said the service is not only a good piece of mind for the person being called, but for their friends and family.
"So if you know someone (who needs the service), they can call us," Baker said.