Two retired women with a history of administrative and volunteer experiences will serve as coordinators of the Rutherford County sheriff’s Senior Citizens Awareness Network program to provide services for seniors.
Carroll Kyle was named coordinator and Peggy Earheart was named assistant coordinator for SCAN volunteers. Kyle, who is retired, previously served as vice president of nursing services for Middle Tennessee Medical Center. She served as nursing supervisor for the Nurse on Call program at Baptist Hospital in Nashville. Earheart, who retired from Target, volunteers with the Noon Exchange Club and routinely checks on elderly friends.
Kyle said U.S. government statistics estimate Rutherford County has a population of 21,592 senior citizens over age 65, about 8.4 percent of the county’s population. The SCAN program will match volunteers with those seniors who may need services.
School Resource Officer Sgt. Patty Hillis, who is forming the program with SRO John Acton, said Americans age 55 and older will double by the year 2030.
“As our senior population increases in record numbers, so do issues relating to addressing the needs of isolated, lonely, at-risk and financially challenged seniors,” Hillis said.
Kyle and Earheart will register and visit senior citizens who may wish to be part of the SCAN program. Registration will begin after volunteers complete training. Then, they will coordinate volunteers will regularly visit with the seniors over age 55 to ensure they have adequate food, water, heat and safety needs.
“We’re going to be listening” when they meet with seniors to determine their needs, Earheart said. Some seniors may be placed on a call list to check on them regularly.
Carroll said the seniors will know that the volunteers and law enforcement officers care about them and will ask about individual needs.
Volunteers must commit to about 12 to 16 hours per month. Volunteers must pass a background check, possess a valid driver’s license and undergo training during a session at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, May 26 at the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office at 940 New Salem Highway. To register, volunteers may pick up an application at the sheriff’s office. or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Training includes basic first aid, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, home security and education about local and community social services and programs.
Citizen Ron Pool registered as a volunteer because he has a lot of time on his hands. He presently volunteers at the Lascassas Food Bank where he loves to “hand out food.” He earned certification as a journeyman and worked installing hardwood floors.
“I’m ready to go anytime,” Pool said.
Kyle said Rutherford County has given to her and her family.
“I can just give something back” by volunteering with SCAN, Kyle said.
Earheart said she volunteered in every community where she lived. She wants to listen to the seniors’ needs.
Acton said his goal was to serve seniors and make sure their needs are being met.
“They’re a viable part of this community,” Acton said.
Photo Caption: Sheriff Robert F. Arnold, right, discusses the Senior Citizens Awareness Network program with from left, SRO John Acton, Coordinator Carroll Kyle, Co-Coordinator Peggy Earheart, and SRO Sgt. Patty Hillis. Volunteers are being registered to check on senior citizens throughout the county.