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DuPage Sheriff's office reminds residents to check on elderly in cold weather

Winter can be an especially dangerous time for senior citizens and DuPage County Sheriff John Zaruba wants them to know there is someone out there watching over them.

Sheriff Zaruba is encouraging senior citizens to register with the Guardian System, a free service provided by the DuPage County Sheriff's Office to help ensure the well being of seniors and the physically disabled living throughout the county.

“As winter temperatures in the Chicago area are dropping to dangerous levels, senior citizens can be especially vulnerable to frostbite or even death if their homes are not properly heated,” Sheriff Zaruba said. “Seniors are also vulnerable when they do something as simple as go outside to get their mail and find themselves facing a slippery sidewalk or driveway.”

The Guardian telephone system calls registered members on a regular basis. The system is available to DuPage County residents who are over the age of 62 or are physically or mentally disabled and live alone. On the requested days and times, the system will call the member.  The member verifies that he or she has received the call and is okay by entering a four-digit code on the telephone. If the member does not respond, a police dispatcher will attempt to contact the member via telephone. If the member is not contacted, the Sheriff’s Office or local police department is sent to the member’s residence to check their well being.

"With frigid temperatures and snowy weather, there are many senior citizens out there who need to be checked on, and that's what Guardian is designed to do," Sheriff Zaruba said. For a list of heating sites in DuPage County go to www.dupagesheriff.org and click the quick link for heating sites or if you would like find out more information on the Guardian program call the Sheriff’s Office at (630) 407-2400.

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