The Adopt-A-Senior Program is a TRIAD-sponsored program, a joint venture involving the Hanover County Sheriff's Office, Ashland Police Department, AARP and Hanover County government departments, human service agencies, civic groups as well as older adults. The intent of the program is to provide additional support and reassurance for older adults with special needs. Targeted for participation are individuals or couples aged 60 and over who live alone and have limited mobility or medical problems which renders them home bound, and whom have limited family or social support. The Adopt-A-Senior program is intended to be one element of a supportive array of services within the community that assist older citizens to enjoy life as independently and with the greatest degree of dignity as possible.
The Adopt-A-Senior program is established to strengthen communication and cooperation among the law enforcement community, seniors and state and local agencies in order to maximize the use of available resources. Through regular contact or visitation from observant and compassionate law enforcement personnel isolated older adults will gain additional reassurance, social support, crime prevention assistance, monitoring and service referrals.
Referrals or requests for participation in the Adopt-A-Senior program are accepted from third parties such as human service agencies, extended family members, neighbors and friends as well as from the older adults themselves. All requests must be in writing, either in the form of a letter or a completed Adopt-A-Senior Application Form. Letters of request must include name, address, and phone number of the Senior, along with a brief summary of the situation warranting the regular visitation or contact of an Adopt-A-Senior Officer. Emergency contact information and medical information are also required along with the contact information of the referring party. Such requests or applications should be forwarded to the attention of the TRIAD representative for the Ashland Police Department or the Hanover County Sheriff's Office as determined by the jurisdiction of the Senior.
Upon receipt of a request or referral, The Hanover Sheriff's Office or the Ashland Police Department TRIAD Representative/ Crime Prevention Officer will make contact as soon as possible with the referred Senior in order to describe the program and confirm referral information. An appointment for a home visit will then be arranged or the Senior's decline of service will be noted and referral sources will be notified. The initial home visit shall include the Hanover Sheriff or Ashland Police TRIAD Representative/ Crime Prevention Officer and a case manager from either the Area Agency on Aging or the Department of Social Services. Other parties to be included during this visit are at the discretion of the Senior and the service agencies involved. If the service is deemed appropriate an Adopt-A-Senior officer will be assigned and will be provided with the necessary background information and an introduction will be conducted. The assigned officer will make arrangements for future visits- hopefully once per week. It is expected that the officer will at least call his/her Senior(s) at least once each week.
During each visit or phone call, the officer should be observant of any needs or intervention required by the Senior or his/her household. In the event that an officer feels a referral is in order, the officer should complete a TRIAD Service Referral Card to indicate such concerns related to the welfare of the Senior or household. These concerns should be immediately forwarded to the contact designated on the Senior's original application or to the Department of Social Services if the concern involves the suspicion of abuse or neglect, including that of self neglect. In order to effectively monitor and assess such needs, officers participating in the Adopt-A-Senior Program should be aware of the special needs of older adults as well as the specific issues related to each of their assigned Seniors. If warranted, a consent to release information may be needed for appropriate disclosure from external agencies. The TRIAD Council will assist in providing these officers with the necessary information and resources to fulfill such expectations.