Gloucester Public Health and Police Partner for Older Adults Activity Program

一 The Gloucester Health Department and Gloucester Police Department’s Community Impact Unit are excited to announce a new activity-based, education-focused, crime-prevention initiative aimed at the community’s older population.

The program is seeking the community’s help with generating a creative name for the initiative.

The new, collaborative program is aimed at establishing an “easy button” for the older population to reach out and press whenever they find themselves faced with a personal challenge or need.

Grappling with many challenges ranging from transportation and health care needs to an improved sense of personal safety, older adults in the community could use the support of both the Health and Police Departments to confidently address personal challenges, gain capabilities, and proactively conquer temporary glitches in their lives.

Both the Police and Health Departments of Gloucester collaborate with a variety of organizations and agencies at the federal, state, and local levels — all of which can support the needs of Gloucester’s older population.

The objective of this brand-new initiative is to raise awareness of the availability of health and safety resources, inform community members about how these resources can be used to support the older members of our population, and challenge everyone to think “outside the box” about how departmental and community assets can empower our most valued citizens.

Scheduled programming will include face-to-face talks with police and health teams as well as future events such as trips to local support organizations, visiting the YMCA to try an exercise class, small social events, bowling, police station tours, observing court trials, CPR, First Aid and Automatic External Defibrillator instruction, Narcan training, and opportunities to mentor and engage local students with fun activities. 

“Older adults are an amazing resource. They have so much to teach us if we listen to them,” said Lt. Jeremiah Nicastro, commander of the Gloucester Police Community Impact Unit. “We are hoping to return the favor by helping older adults learn more about law enforcement, crime prevention, health issues, and resources within the community, all while engaging with police, health officials, and other community members in a collaborative way that will enable all of us to learn from each other.”

Older adults will receive up-to-date information on chronic and communicable diseases, gain opportunities for learning about health issues that affect older populations, and expand their knowledge about crime prevention, scam defense, and the proper disposal of unused prescriptions and medical waste products such as syringes. 

“The Silent Generation, born from 1925 to 1945, and the Baby Boomer Generation, born from 1946 to 1964, are proud, independent, people who remain wonderfully capable members of society well into their older years,” said Health Director Mary Ellen Rose. “Our city’s primary industry of fishing may have changed, but we are the same hard-working, family-oriented people that have been the foundation of Gloucester for almost 400 years. This community has a strong history of caring for one another across generational lines, and we want to preserve that culture for generations to come!

“Committing to providing our older community members with the power to help themselves and influence others will inspire individuals to confidently address personal challenges, build their sense of safety, and ease their return to the fold of a community that could benefit from their wisdom, experience, and perspective.”

The program’s first event will be held on Monday, Oct. 17, at the Gloucester Police Community Impact Unit, 67 Middle St. The Health Department’s Seniors on the Go program will provide bus transportation to and from the morning event.

Two sessions, at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., will each have a maximum capacity of about 25 guests. 

Presentations will include an introduction to the Gloucester Health Department staff and the services they provide; a talk about internet and phone scams with Gloucester Police Detectives; and information on the Community Impact Unit’s programs and services. 

Similar awareness presentations will be made from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on:

  • Nov. 2 at Sheedy Park
  • Nov. 8 at McPherson Park
  • Nov. 22 at Poplar Park
  • Dec. 1 at Lincoln Park
  • Dec. 20 at the Clark Building 

“It is great to see the Health Department and Police Department working together to serve such an important group in our community — this type of collaboration creates impactful and innovative programming,” said Mayor Greg Verga. “Our older residents face unique challenges and this program will connect them to important resources and information while engaging them in exciting activities.”

For more information on the program, or to submit a possible name for the program, contact either Lt. Jeremiah Nicastro at 978-325-5471 or jnicastro@gloucester-ma.govor Health Director Mary Ellen Rose at 978-325-5268 or mrose@gloucester-ma.gov.

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