The Are You Okay team of the Manteca Seniors Helping Area Residents and Police volunteer corps were emotional as they witnessed the planting of a tree in St. Francis Park for a Manteca woman they checked on her condition in her home every day.
Husband Larry noted at the park ceremony that his wife could always sense when the SHARP members were about to call. He added she looked forward to their call. She passed away on Jan. 5 less than a year with her illness.
SHARP Sgt. Joyce Vieira explained the group’s RUOK mission statement:
The RUOK team is committed to the safety and well-being of people. Using available resources, their purpose is to assist them in any way they possibly can, Vieira said of their daily monitoring effort for those alone in their homes.
In addition to Vieira the team includes Capt. Marty Maldonado, Patricia Bascom, Eva Milligan, Glenn Pearson and Jeanne Kooyman.
RUOK is a computer generated program that calls each client at a specified time each day. If there is no answer after three calls, the computer will issue an alert. When an alert is issued Sgt Vieira receives a call and starts checking with their contact person or neighbors. If unsuccessful they call the police department and request a welfare check. Someone from the team goes in addition to the responding officers will go to the home.
A member of the RUOK team makes a visit to each client every month with a small gift. In addition to their computer generated call, a SHARP member will call every two weeks.
“We are working with Catholic Charities and Love Inc. to assist our clients with needed medical supplies not covered by their insurance,” Vieira said. “I have hopes of patterning with other agencies.”
She added that the team is in the process of putting a new program together to prepare their clients to be ready for a disaster or major emergency situation.
“We are here for our clients if they just need to talk,” she said. “If our clients are alone on a holiday, we make sure they have a hot holiday meal and a gift for Christmas. Our clients look forward to our calls and visits. It is our pleasure to be able to assist them and improve their quality of life.”