Elderly Safety Program Catches on Across the Coast

The RUOK Program helps over 30 senior citizens in Gulfport and nearly 15 stay safe in Biloxi. Now Ocean Springs officials want to know if the safety program would be a good fit in Jackson County.
News 25’s Gina Tomlinson spent some time with a Biloxi resident enrolled in the program and tells us more.
At 76-years-old Biloxi resident Geraldine Blenman has her share of medical problems. “I have fallen and I can’t get up by myself.”
Not being able to walk as well as she used to, if she were to have an emergency and her kids or grandchildren weren’t home to help it could make for a very dangerous situation.
Six years ago Geraldine found help in the Biloxi Police Department’s RUOK Program where a phone call is made once a day, at their choice, to ensure an elderly or disabled person is safe and sound. “Sometimes if someone answers the telephone rather than me they insist that they talk to me to make sure I am okay,” said Blenman.
Geraldine says because she is in a wheelchair she doesn’t venture out of the house too often. “I am alone a lot, not a lot, but sometimes. I need the help and I appreciate it.”
Fourteen senior citizens are enrolled in Biloxi’s RUOK Program and 33 in Gulfport. Now Ocean Springs officials are wondering if the program would benefit their residents too. Ocean Springs Alderman Greg Denyer said, “We have our share of older individuals that live here, that retire here, whether it be military people or just residents that live here all their lives.”
Ocean Springs Alderman Greg Denyer says the city is calling for resident’s input on the program before they consider it. “It’s certainly worth looking into. I think it would be a wonderful program if it’s affordable and we can provide it.”

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