Life-sav­ing ser­vice gives “peace of mind”

Stanstead Journal - - FORUM - Vic­to­ria Vanier, Ma­gog

Al­thoughthe Pair Pro­gram has been op­er­at­ing in this re­gion for many years, it is a ser­vice that could be of ben­e­fit to a lot more peo­ple, es­pe­cially in the Stanstead area.

The Pair Pro­gram is a free, au­to­matic tele­phone ser­vice for peo­ple fifty-five and older liv­ing alone, se­nior couples if one of the cou­ple is not able to use a tele­phone for what­ever rea­son, or a younger per­son suf­fer­ing from a con­di­tion such as di­a­betes or re­cov­er­ing from an ac­ci­dent. “Peo­ple who reg­is­ter with the pro­gram will get one or more au­to­matic phone calls ev­ery day, at the time of their choos­ing, to make sure they are OK. It de­pends on the per­son and their needs; there’s no limit. They can also get phone calls to re­mind them to take their med­i­ca­tions,” ex­plained Paul Tear, the Com­mu­nity Of­fi­cer with the Regie de Po­lice de Mem­phrem­a­gog, who is in charge of the lo­cal Pair Pro­gram. “We’re very flex­i­ble and it’s free.”

A sub­scriber to the Pair Pro­gram must first de­cide how many times a day they want to be called by the ser­vice and when. If the per­son does not an­swer the au­to­matic call, the ser­vice tries again in ten min­utes, and again ten min­utes later. If there is still no an­swer, the ser­vice will con­tact des­ig­nated neigh­bours of the sub­scriber’s choos­ing, who have a spare key to the home, to go and check on the per­son. If the neigh­bours can’t be reached right away, the ser­vice will send the po­lice to the sub­scriber’s home. “Once a lady went into a di­a­betic come and the Pair Pro­gram prob­a­bly saved her life,” said Mr. Tear.

“The only thing we ask of our sub­scribers is that if they are not go­ing to be home at the time of their calls, to let us know to avoid any false alarms. But there aren’t any fees for false alarms,” men­tioned Mr. Tear.

Dorothy Gil­lick reg­is­tered her­self with the Pair Pro­gram af­ter hear­ing a pre­sen­ta­tion by Paul Tear at the Ayer’s Cliff Fifty Plus Club, of which she is the pres­i­dent. “Now I get a call at 7:00 ev­ery morn­ing. I use it as my alarm clock,” com­mented Mrs. Gil­lick who has been us­ing the ser­vice since Jan­uary. “But you can get more than one call a day if you want. The ser­vice is re­li­able and it’s free. You don’t get many things for free any­more,” she added.

Be­cause there were only about fifty sub­scribers to this use­ful pro­gram last year, it was re-launched last Novem­ber with a new spokesper­son, fa­mous Que­bec singer, Michel Lou­vain. “Af­ter we re-launched the ser­vice we got about twenty-five new mem­bers. There’s

photo cour­tesy

Of­fi­cer Paul Tear (left), who heads up the lo­cal Pair Pro­gram, with the pro­gram’s spokesper­son, fa­mous crooner Michel Lou­vain.

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