A large group of elderly people are gathered in a tent at the Plymouth County Farm on Obery Street. At first glance, this looks like nothing more than a social gathering, especially since the coffee and the conversation are flowing.
However, something more important is at stake here. Plymouth County District Attorney Tim Cruz and Plymouth County Sheriff Joe McDonald walk through the crowd. They stop and have a friendly chat with the elderly, asking how they are doing and joking that they finally don’t have to wear masks now that COVID-19 restrictions have been relaxed.
While the joke is light, this event has a more serious purpose. The annual Plymouth County Triad Luncheon is another step in keeping seniors safe in their own communities.
As part of a national effort, the public safety program ensures that the needs of the elderly are adequately addressed in the community. Law enforcement, aging councils, and the elderly meet regularly across the county to discuss issues and find ways to help an older generation.
âSocialization is a big part of this,â said Cruz. âWe get together all over the county to talk to seniors and keep them informed of the scams and crime of the day. We want them to know that we are there for them.
Started by the National Sheriffs’ Association, Triad focuses on preventing elder abuse by reviewing plans for an aging population and developing trusted support networks for assistance. Law enforcement is working with the Center for Active Living and other aging councils across the county to ensure seniors do not suffer financial, physical, or psychological harm, or through caregivers. and self-neglect.
The Plymouth County Triad consists of the District Attorney, Sheriff, Local Police and Fire Chiefs, Council of Directors of Aging, Seniors and Law Enforcement Together (SALT) members, seniors and representatives of community groups that help the elderly.
âWe are working with Triad to develop programs that primarily educate seniors about safety,â said Michelle Bratti, director of seniors’ affairs for Plymouth, who is also director of the Center for Active Living. âThese include finance, scam and fraud, virtual, health and ways to reduce crime in general. We host and coordinate them for our senior community, whether through Zoom, PACTV and in-person events. “
Plymouth Country Triad’s programs are vast and varied. They include:
Safety Assurance – A call for well-being to support independent living
Code Red – Public Safety Alerts for Seniors
SafetyNet – A tool for caregivers to keep people at risk of wandering safe
File for Life – Medical history package kept for easy reference
Disposal program for unused or expired drugs – Local boxes for safe disposal
Grandparents Raising Grandchildren – A List of Virtual Support Groups Near You
Senior ID Card – Sheriff Outreach Coordinators come to the event to create ID cards for the elderly
âTriad is a great program,â said McDonald. “It unites the elderly, law enforcement and public safety so that we can provide education on scams and find ways for our communities to improve services for the elderly.”
The annual Triad Luncheon at the Plymouth County Farm was attended by over 50 people. Seniors and representatives from across the county gathered in Plymouth to strengthen ties between different groups.
One of those in attendance was Stephanie Williams, Volunteer Coordinator for the East Bridgewater Council on Aging. An elderly herself, she takes her role in the Plymouth County Triad seriously.
âI retired after 33 years, but then took on this job,â she said. âI like working with and helping seniors. You create a strong bond with them. It affects you deeply when something happens to them.
Triad events are held monthly in many communities across Plymouth County. Programs often include educational instructions and details about crimes against the elderly.
During lunch, Cruz insisted on this point. He reminded the public what to remember when receiving calls warning people that they are about to be incarcerated.
âPeople call you all the time and say, ‘If you don’t do that, you’re going to be arrested,'” he said. âLet me share this secret with you: When law enforcement is ready to arrest you, they won’t call you to let you know they’re coming. They don’t warn you.
For more information on the Plymouth County Triad, visit www.pcsdma.org/triad.html or plymouthda.com/prevention/plymouth-county-triad-initiative/.