Years of Service

Longtime RSVP Advisory Council member Yvonne Clark recognized

Longtime RSVP Advisory Council member Yvonne Clark recognized

MARQUETTE — TRIAD of Marquette County met Wednesday afternoon at the Retired & Senior Volunteer Program offices for its regular meeting, as well as a surprise party for retiring RSVP Advisory Council member Yvonne Clark, who had been with the council for 24 years.

TRIAD began in 1998 as a partnership between RSVP and local law enforcement agencies, with the aim of improving quality of life, safety and well-being for seniors, as well as reducing criminal victimization of the elderly while also enhancing the delivery of law enforcement to senior citizens in Marquette County.

“Part of the TRIAD focus is to present programs that will help them with safety issues, fraud, a lot of the things that maybe younger people don’t worry about … I think a lot of older adults are more trusting, and they get scammed — they really do — so we try to bring programs to them,” said Rich Johnson, chairman of the TRIAD board.

TRIAD not only helps bring programs to seniors in the community, but also gives its members, who are senior volunteers through the RSVP program, a chance to regularly engage with law enforcement officials and communicate about the issues affecting senior citizens in the community.

“(TRIAD is) a collaboration of local law enforcement with seniors to keep seniors safe in their communities (and) make them comfortable turning to law enforcement if they need them,” Julie Shaw, director of RSVP and Marquette County’s Aging Services Department, said in a previous Mining Journal article.

Yvonne Clark, a retiring Retired & Senior Volunteer Program Advisory Council member of 24 years, was honored for her service at the Wednesday meeting of Marquette County TRIAD, an RSVP-run program that is a partnership between seniors in RSVP and local law enforcement agencies. TRIAD seeks to improve quality of life, safety and well-being for seniors in Marquette County through offering a variety of community outreach programs and activities, including Project LifeTracker, emergency preparedness for seniors and annual Neighbors Night Out events. (Journal photo by Cecilia Brown)

TRIAD of Marquette County has partnered with law enforcement to initiate several programs for seniors in the community.

“I look at TRIAD as a resource between all of those agencies to help bring a little more education … and safety to our seniors,” Johnson said.

One example of a collaborative project between TRIAD, law enforcement and other community agencies is the Project LifeTracker service, which provides a bracelet containing a transmitter to people who have Alzheimer’s disease or other conditions that may put them at risk of wandering.

This transmitter can help law enforcement agencies and volunteer ham radio operators locate the person if they do wander.

“We’ve got some real talented people … For example, our ham radio operators, … if somebody goes missing that has the LifeTracker apparatus on, they help the sheriff’s department triangulate and locate that person,” Johnson said.

Caregivers can contact the RSVP office at 906-315-2607 for more information. The program coordinator can then arrange a visit with the caregiver and client to fit the client with a LifeTracker bracelet. The cost of the Project LifeTracker service is a one-time donation of $50 for equipment and a monthly fee of $20; however, Johnson said that waivers are available, if necessary, and that no one in need is turned down.

TRIAD is also looking to spread the word to senior citizens about Marquette County’s Smart911. The Smart911 system allows people to create a safety profile online and enter important information, such as allergies, disabilities, phone numbers, addresses or vehicle details. Then, if the person calls 911 from a phone number that is linked to a Smart911 profile, all of the safety profile information entered will be available for dispatchers.

All of this information can help responders assist callers in a faster and more efficient manner, especially if a person has trouble communicating with dispatchers, becomes disoriented or is unsure of their location.

“We encourage people to become more aware of it,” Johnson said. “If they don’t have computer or interent access, maybe a family member or friend could start up an account with their phone number.”

Smart911 profiles can be set up by accessing smart911.com, and by including as much or as little information as a person would like to include.

Beyond offering opportunities for senior volunteers through TRIAD, RSVP can also help retirees find a volunteer position at nonprofit and health institutions in Marquette County, with the goal of providing positive volunteering experiences for retirees.

Yvonne Clark, who was honored at Wednesday’s meeting for her 24 years of service with the RSVP Advisory Council, is an exemplar of this positive service experience.

“I wanted to let you know how much it’s appreciated and what it means to us on our various committees and boards and the seniors of Marquette County … So I just wanted to convey to you our thanks and gratitude for so many years of service and hope you will always stay in touch. Congratulations,” Jeff Selesky, chairman for the RVSP Advisory Council, said to Clark.

Cecilia Brown can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 248.