COAST keeps Floyd County's vulnerable on the line in midst of COVID-19 concerns
The Floyd County Sheriff's Department is working to keep the most vulnerable in the community safe during this time of isolation.
The department's "Checking on a Senior Today" (COAST) outreach program started in 2017. Since then calls have been made to Floyd County senior citizens who might not have family close by or have anyone to routinely check in on them.
The calls are made Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, making sure the people on the list are safe and have the things they need. From medicine to groceries, sheriff's deputies run errands and help with basic household maintenance.
Sheriff John Hunt said the program is especially helpful during trying times like these, as people in the county continue to self-quarantine as a COVID-19 safety precaution.
“So it’s allowed us to step in and be that person to check on them- check on their well-being,” Hunt said. “And it gives the senior a lot of peace of mind that somebody they can trust is checking on them.”
According to Hunt, the simple act of receiving the call is often the only thing they want.
"A lot of the times that’s what they need more than anything is that person to communicate with them, talk to them, check on them, and just have a good conversation with them," Hunt said.
That's where Betty Branham comes in. She makes the calls every week to check in on the people she calls her patients.
"I look forward to coming and check my patients out," she said. "I'm checking on each one of them and what their conditions are."
Branham said she often ends up just having conversations with the people she is checking on.
“Most of them want to talk," said Branham. "Said I’m the only phone calls they get during the day.”
She said her recent calls have resulted in everyone talking about the COVID-19 scare as they worry about the spread.
“Each one that I talk with has a comment. ‘I’m staying in. If I need anything, I’ll let you know," said Branham.
So, she has continued to make her calls from home as isolation continues as an extra measure to make sure everyone is safe and no one feels alone.
If you know someone who would benefit from COAST, you can have them added to the call list by reaching out to the Floyd County Sheriff's Office at (606)886-8965.