Written by: John DeRousie, Custom Marketing Solutions
FULTON, NY – In February of this year Fulton Mill Apartments, with the aid of Catholic Charities of Oswego and Fildelis Care, introduced the new I’m OK program for its residents. While many residents were a bit apprehensive about participating at first, the program has become a resounding success that the vast majority of residents are happy to be a part of.
A neighbor-to-neighbor program, I’m OK empowers resident volunteers to look out for the well-being of their fellow residents. Each participating resident is provided an I’m OK door hanger, which, at the appointed time, they hang daily outside their apartment to indicate that they are “OK”. During their rounds volunteers slide the door hanger back under the door. The I’m OK program ensures that residents are monitored and therefore feel an extra level of comfort by knowing that if for some reason they cannot display their hanger, it won’t be long before someone is there to find out why and that, if needed, help and assistance will be coming soon.
Ann Casey, resident services coordinator, for Fulton Mill Apartments credits the support of the Red Cross and the enthusiasm of the residents for the programs success.
“Since we introduced the I’m OK in February, chapter services associate for the American Red Cross of Central New York, Susan Pope and Red Cross volunteer coordinator, Jezanna Osier, have been wonderful. They have provided us with training and knowledge needed to begin and continually operate the I’m OK Program,” said Casey.
Osier holds monthly meetings with the Fulton Mill’s volunteer monitors to discuss any concerns and answer any questions they may have regarding the I’m OK program.
“I am very impressed with the response we have received from both the residents and the management of Fulton Mill Apartments,” said Osier. “Their acceptance and involvement in the program has been excellent. Well above my expectations.”
Pope also spoke highly of the resident’s enthusiasm for the program and praised Casey for her role in the program.
“One of the most challenging aspects of implementing the I’m OK program is gaining the acceptance and support of the building’s management. Ann, her staff, and everyone involved with Fulton Mill Apartments have been strong proponents of the I’m OK program and encourage the residents to take part in a program that is designed for their safety and provide them with some piece of mind. Implementing the I’m OK program at Fulton Mill Apartments would not have been possible if not for the efforts of Jezanna and Ann.” said Pope.
While other senior residences have similar programs, Fulton Mill Apartments was the first to bring the Red Cross I’m OK program to Central New York.
Since its introduction at Fulton Mill Apartments the I’m OK program has expanded to St. Luke Apartments in Oswego. Pope, along with Helen Hoefer, director of Catholic Charities of Oswego County’s Emergency Services program are currently in preliminary discussions with several other senior residences in Oswego County in hopes of making the I’m OK program available to more Oswego County seniors and their families.
“Once management and the residents learn how simple the program is, and the vast benefits it offers them, the residents’ families and residence’s staff, I’m certain that more senior residences will be eager to introduce the program to their residents,” added Pope.
For more information on the Red Cross I’m OK program, call Pope at 315- 343-0967.