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San Diego County Sheriff’s Department offers free service program for elderly community members

The “You Are Not Alone” (YANA) program is a free service for people who live within the jurisdiction of the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department.

It offers peace of mind and a sense of security for those who enjoy their independence, but have no friends or family to check on them regularly.

People in the YANA program are able to take care of their own day-to-day needs, but recognize that a medical crisis could render them helpless. Most importantly, community members are able to find comfort with regular senior interaction from the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department volunteer patrol.

The YANA program has been credited with saving the lives of many elderly adults who live alone. Calls are made Monday through Friday before 10 a.m. A daily log is kept to verify that contact was made and to note any special requests or information such as doctor visits.

If a YANA member does not answer after three attempts, Sheriff’s Senior Volunteer Patrol members will go to the YANA members home to make sure the YANA members are not sick, injured, or in need of help.

If Senior Volunteer Patrol members see a problem or still cannot make contact, a deputy is called to the scene and emergency medical assistance may be summoned.

Each YANA member gets a weekly personal visit from Sheriff’s Senior Volunteer Patrol members. This brings a personal touch to the program. For some participants, the visits are the only social contacts they have. During the visit, volunteers check the YANA members’ well-being. They also stay aware for basic signs of abuse whether financial, physical or even self-inflicted through general neglect or lack of resources. If needed, referrals are made to the County of San Diego’s Aging and Independence Services, as well as Adult Protective Services.

Some Sheriff’s stations and substations offer birthday, Easter and holiday season visits with gift baskets.

The enrollment process is easy. Simply contact your local Sheriff station and provide your contact information to make the daily phone calls and weekly visits, and for emergency personnel to respond and access the individual’s property should the need arise. All information provided in the application process is kept confidential.

Call the enrollee’s nearest Sheriff’s station/substation and ask to speak to a Senior Volunteer Patrol coordinator. To enroll and for more information, contact the North Coastal Station at (760) 966-3500.


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