CASWELL BEACH -- Living alone, at any age, comes with its challenges. If you have an emergency and can't get in touch with anyone, you might not get the help you need. That's why the Brunswick County town of Caswell Beach, which tends to be a retirement community, has a new program aimed at checking up on people who live alone. For a town that has an average age of 60 and many people living alone, Police Chief Judee Carroll said a morning call program is a necessity. "We just want to say, 'good morning,' and 'this is your morning call and everything's ok,'" she said. The morning call program is available to residents of all ages, but is aimed at those who live alone. Ann Marie Zalewski is a Caswell Beach resident who is interested in signing up for the program. She said, "Being on your own you just never know what's going to happen, what kind of accident could occur." When people sign up for the program, Chief Carroll and her officers will personally call them each morning to make sure everything's ok. If there is no answer, officers will pay a visit to their house. Chief Carroll said, "It can also be temporary. If somebody gets surgery and is going to be down for a while, we'll be more than happy to do accordingly to what they need." Zalewski said, "I think it's a great idea. There are many of us in the town who live alone who are either widows or widowers and it's nice to know there's someone we can count on who'll check up on us and see that we're ok." Chief Carroll has personally seen the need for a morning call program in Caswell Beach. "I have happened upon at least three different occassions where people have actually been down more than 24 hours," she said. Zalewski meets with a widows group once a month and said the morning call program is something group members have discussed. She said, "We know of people who have had problems where they have fallen. There's nothing worse than to fall down and be a couple days and no one knows you're there." In a town where the police officers know many residents already, both Zalewski and Chief Carroll said this program will simply be an extension of the community-based policing. The morning call program doesn't replace an emergency monitoring system someone may already have. To sign up for the program, you can fill out a form at Caswell Beach Town Hall or print a form online at www.caswellbeach.org.
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