"Are You Okay" program popularity grows - WNCT

"Are You Okay" program popularity grows

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Living alone can be a frightening experience for some senior citizens with medical conditions, but a daily phone call is melting some of those fears.

Popularity is growing for the R-U-O-K program, run by the New Bern Police Department.

Senior citizens who have signed up get a free phone call every day from an automated system that checks to make sure okay. If they don't answer by the third ring, a police officer comes to check on them in person.

There are about 90 people on the program today, said Barbara Morlock, the coordinator of the program. That's triple the amount of subscribers when the program started 20 years ago.

"We have had several people that have been saved. They've had diabetic emergencies or they had fallen, so this basically lets them know that somebody is going to come check on them," said Morlock.

Morlock says the main reason the number of people on the program has grown is because there's greater awareness about the program.

"I love it because I have someone to wake up every morning. When he calls me, I'm already awake. And I thank him and I thank those that has really been responsible for this program," said New Bern resident Esther Brown, an RUOK subscriber of seven years.

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