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'It saved her life': Hernando Co. program credited for helping save elderly woman

Posted at 11:05 PM, May 14, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-14 23:19:02-04

HERNANDO COUNTY, Fla. -- It's been dubbed a life-saving phone line, helping give elderly residents and their loved ones peace of mind.

At 85-years-old, Joan McManus embraces her independence living alone in Hernando County.

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Her three children live out of state but McManus says she has loved ones in Hernando County checking on her daily.

"I feel like they're my family because my family is away," McManus said. "They're my close family now.

Clerks with the Hernando County Sheriff's Office make calls daily to more than 100 elderly residents. It's part of the Care Line, which has been in operation for nearly two decades.

"I’m alone and they know I’m alone. So if I don’t answer that phone they rush around and find someone," said McManus.

The free program recently prevented a bad fall from turning much worse.

A 101-year-old woman didn't call the Care Line during her designated time, clerks dialed her emergency contacts with no luck.

The clerks quickly dispatched a deputy to check on the woman. He found her on the floor in desperate need of medical attention. She's now recovering in a local hospital.

"It saved her life," said Denise Maloney with the Hernando County Sheriff's Office.

Clients tell ABC Action News, the phone calls go far beyond a daily check-in, it's a phone call that builds relationships and offers a much-needed peace of mind.

"They make me laugh and I make them laugh," McManus said. “The girls get to know me and I got to know them.”

If you or someone you know want to sign up for the Hernando County Sheriff's Office Care Line, you can find more information here.