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Winona Telecare volunteers call to check in on elderly, disabled living alone

WINONA, Minn. (KTTC) -

If you have a family member who's disabled or elderly and living alone, you might often be concerned about how they're doing.

There is a free service in Winona that can help, called Telecare.

Telecare has actually been active in Winona for more than 45 years.

Volunteers give clients a call in the morning, weekends, or holidays to make sure they're doing okay.

For nearly 20 years, volunteer David Forest spent the first hour and a half of his day calling clients and checking in on them.

His calls usually sound like this: "Hello this is Dave from Telecare. How are you today? Well that's good. Say, another beautiful day isn't it? Oh great! Okay well you have a very nice day. Good bye!"

Sometimes calls can be longer depending on what the volunteer or client want to chat about.

Forrest volunteers at Winoa Health to check in on people like Valeria Donahue, who lives alone.

"The people call you in the morning, wakes you up makes and you feel good, you know. That you've got somebody out there that's looking out for you," she said.

Since she lives by herself, she says the service helps her family know someone is checking on her everyday.

"I know that they're out there for me. And if I do need it, you know, I'm sure that if I called they would find somebody to be there for me," said Donahue

"The pleasure I get from talking to those people, they appreciate it so much. And that's really great," said Forest.

Right now, nearly 25 volunteers are part of the Telecare service.

Forest said a client can have a contact person, a friend, neighbor or relative, that a volunteer can call if they can't reach a client.

Call periods are from 8 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., or whenever a client chooses to be contacted.

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