FULTON, NY – Following months of planning, preparation and cooperation, Fulton Mill Apartments officially kicked off its new I’m OK program.
An initiative of the American Red Cross, I’m OK is a neighbor-to-neighbor program that will benefit residents who live alone as it ensures residents that in the event of something happening to them they will receive attention in a timely manner.
Resident services coordinator for Fulton Mill Apartments, Ann Casey, is happy that Fulton Mill Apartments is the first senior housing facility in Oswego County to offer the American Red Cross program.
“It is a wonderful program that both our residents and our staff are excited about. It’s very comforting to know that residents will be checking on residents seven days a week,” she said.
More than a dozen residents will serve as volunteers for the program.
Each volunteer underwent extensive training courtesy of the Red Cross and received their credentials at a special meeting to recognize their participation.
“Our volunteers are excited about the program and are proud to be a part of it. In addition to the Red Cross training that they received, we also gave them all a card with responsibilities and duties clearly outlined. Each morning at 10 our volunteers will check their respective floor to make sure that residents participating in the I’m OK Program have put out their I’m OK door hanger. If it is, they simply remove the door hanger and slide it back under the apartment door. If is not, they can refer to their card for the proper actions to take,” added Casey.
Chapter services associate for the American Red Cross of Central New York, Susan Pope, is proud to see the I’m OK Program at Fulton Mill Apartments and has a vision to duplicate the program at other sites in Oswego County.
“This a great program that benefits the residents and provides their families with the peace of mind that someone is making a non-intrusive check on their loved ones every day. For the staff it is another mechanism to ensure the well-being of the residents with a minimum of effort and no additional cost,” she said.
Pope added that the program is a perfect fit with mission of the Red Cross.
“Our mission is to help people prepare for, respond to and recover from disasters. That covers everything from simple first aid to national and international catastrophes. The I’m OK Program reflects that as its monitors are prepared to look out for the sign that there might be an emergency, in this case the missing door hanger. They have specific instructions regarding the proper steps to take in the event of an emergency so they the resident will be found within 24 hours, meaning that person will have a far greater chance of recovering than if the I’m OK monitors weren’t checking every day,” she said.
“We are delighted to see the I’m OK Program at Fulton Mills and we thank the staff and residents for making it happen. Our thanks also go to Catholic Charities and Fidelis Health Care for their support and to our volunteer coordinator, Jezanna Osier, for coming along at just the right time and inspiring our resident volunteers,” said Pope.
To celebrate the kickoff of the program, Casey invited a number of area dignitaries who had the opportunity to hear about the program, meet the volunteers who will serve are monitors, and see for themselves how the program works.
They were impressed by the simplicity of the program and the tremendous benefit that it offers participants.
“It is very uplifting to see fellow residents truly caring about the well being of their neighbors. I am proud to be here today and happy to see this program in place at the Fulton Mill Apartments,” said Oswego County Legislator, Mark Fruce.
Constituent liaison from Assemblyman Will Barclay’s office, Jennifer Cook, praised the collaborative effort that made the program possible.
“It’s great that the Red Cross and Catholic Charities partnered to bring this program to the Fulton Mill Apartments. It gives residents who participate in the program the peace of mind that someone is looking out for them. I really like the program’s simplicity – neighbor caring after neighbor,” she said.