Changes coming to seniors' 'lifeline' program

NORWICH – The Area Agency on Aging is preparing for changes in the Chenango County Lifeline Program that will affect senior citizens throughout the county who depend on the free service.

In November, the agency announced that it would no longer offer the current service through Philips Lifeline, saying in the Bullthistle Bulletin that the change is “necessary because technological advancements and product development have made our current system outdated” and that Philips Lifeline can no longer support a local monitoring system.

The agency is currently discussing new options for lifeline services that include switching to Doyle Securities from the Buffalo area or continuing a partnership under new stipulations with the Massachusetts based company, Philips Lifeline. The services currently received by Philips Lifeline will still be available to the county until the end of 2012, according to Brian Wessels, coordinator of services at the county Area Agency on Aging, but a decision about whether or not the agency will continue services through the company has not yet been made.

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