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|For Immediate Release
Tele-Care, Northwest Hospital Center's free communication service for community residents who live alone, will celebrate its 30th anniversary on September 12.
Since 1972, hospital auxiliary volunteers have manned the phones, making sure they hear from the complete roster of community members who call at designated times during the day. If a call is not received within 15 minutes of a scheduled time, the volunteer calls the community member. If there is no response, calls are made to members of a specified contact list to check on the individual. As a last resort, the police are contacted to intervene.
"It gives everyone a good feeling,” says Joan Kahline, a volunteer at Northwest who served as director of volunteers for 20 years. "It gives the family security and fills a huge void in many people's lives.”
Over the years, Tele-Care volunteers have saved lives. Participants have been found after falling, having a stroke, or just being too sick to get to the telephone. In all, dozens of people have been saved, and more than 500 have used the Tele-Care service during its existence.
The Tele-Care program has proven successful, and served as the model for a similar venture undertaken by Atlantic General Hospital in Berlin last year.
"Our clients genuinely appreciate the program and they tell us all of the time,” says Selma Garonzik, co-chairman of the Tele-Care program. "Many of them send donations to the hospital auxiliary because of the work we do.”
Northwest Hospital Center is a member of LifeBridge Health, a regional health organization, which includes Sinai Hospital, Levindale Hebrew Geriatric Center and Hospital, Jewish Convalescent & Nursing Home, and related subsidiaries and affiliates.
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