Helping seniors live safely is Doug MacDonald’s goal.
MacDonald is working in a citizen position with the Truro Police, as a seniors’ safety coordinator.
“I’ll provide education on living safely, and help in situations where seniors are struggling,” he said. “Things can be overwhelming, and seniors need someone they can talk to who will help them navigate services.”
MacDonald worked with the province for 19 years, as an adult protection social worker. He started in his new position Nov. 13.
“The position is a natural fit for him, with his expertise and background,” said Truro Police Chief Dave MacNeil. “He’ll be using a lot of the same skills.
“We want to build relationships and bridges.”
He said police recognized a need for someone to provide extra support.
“With seniors who’ve been victims of crime there’s often fear about re-victimization. Doug will be able to provide support.
“He’ll also assist with educating people. Education and prevention are key.”
Police often provide safety presentations, and MacDonald will join officers in providing these, addressing subjects such as home safety and scam awareness.
He is still a registered social worker with the Nova Scotia College of Social Workers, and will do home visits in some situations.
“I’m making contact with organizations, continuing-care programs, adult protection, and seniors’ day clinics,” said MacDonald. “I have a list of place I want to contact.
“I’ve had a few people call me so far, and anyone who’d like to talk to me, about a problem or for information, is welcome to get in touch.”
Funding for the seniors’ safety coordinator position was provided through a three-year grant from the province’s seniors’ department.
MacDonald’s hours are currently Monday to Thursday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., but will change as needed. He can be reached at email@example.com or 902-897-3277.