The Old Colony Memorial
Dave Kindy, Wicked Local
June 28, 2021
A large group of senior citizens is gathered under a tent at the Plymouth County Farm on Obery Street. At first glance, it seems like nothing more than a social gathering, especially since coffee and conversation are flowing freely.
However, something more important is in play here. Walking through the crowd are Plymouth County District Attorney Tim Cruz and Plymouth County Sheriff Joe McDonald. They stop and chat amiably with the older adults, asking how they are doing and joking about finally not having to wear masks now that the COVID-19 restrictions have been relaxed.
While the banter is lighthearted, this event has a more serious purpose. The annual luncheon of Plymouth County Triad is another step in keeping older adults safe and secure in their own communities.
Part of a national effort, the public safety program works to ensure that the needs of seniors are adequately addressed in the community. Law enforcement, councils on aging and older adults meet regularly across the county to discuss issues and find ways of assisting an older generation.
“Socializing is a big part of this,” Cruz said. “We meet all around the county to talk with seniors and keep them informed about scams and the crime du jour. We want them to know that we are here for them.”
Started by the National Sheriffs’ Association, Triad focuses on preventing older adult abuse by reviewing plans for an aging population and developing reliable support networks for assistance. Law enforcement works with the Center for Active Living and other councils on aging across the county to ensure older adults are not being harmed financially, physically or psychologically, or through caregiver and self neglect.
Plymouth County Triad consists of the district attorney, sheriff, local police and fire chiefs, council on aging directors, SALT (Seniors and Law Enforcement Together) members, senior citizens and representatives of community groups that assist older adults.
“We work with Triad to develop programming that educates seniors primarily on safety,” said Plymouth’s Director of Elder Affairs Michelle Bratti, who is also the Center for Active Living director. “These include financial, scam and fraud, virtual, health and ways to reduce crime in general. We host and coordinate them for our senior community, either through Zoom, PACTV and in-person events.”
Plymouth Country Triad programs programs are wide and varied. They include:
Safety Assurance – A well-being call to support independent living
Code Red – Public safety alerts for older adults
SafetyNet – A caregivers tool to keep those at risk of wandering safer
File for Life – Medical history kit kept for easy referral
Unused or Expired Medicine Disposal Program – Local boxes for safe disposal