An elderly man who fell and broke his neck Sunday was found two days later after neighbors alerted police he had not been seen.
So when officers arrived at the 95-year-old man’s house Tuesday morning and knocked the door down to find him, they likely saved his life.
“There’s no question,” said Jackson County Officer Rob Henley, who found the man on his bathroom floor. “He was alive but in poor health.”
Henley said the man, whose name has not been released, was taken by ambulance to Schneck Medical Center in Seymour before he was transferred to a hospital in Indianapolis for further treatment.
The situation has prompted police to urge residents to provide up-to-date information with the sheriff’s department so when an emergency occurs, officers have personal information, such as names, phone numbers and addresses on file.
That way, information can be relayed quickly from law enforcement to a homeowner, family member or key holder using the database, police said.
Henley said the elderly man’s fall is a prime example as to why having that information in a database can prove helpful. He said police can use it in other ways, too.
For example, when an alarm system at a home is triggered, officers are often dispatched to the residence. Efforts to contact the homeowner or key holders, however, often can be difficult if their information is not up-to-date with police.
“If we have that information on file, then it can speed things along because we can contact them immediately and keep them in the loop,” Henley said.
Henley also said citizens with landline phones — even if they aren’t in service anymore — should let the sheriff’s department know if there’s an alternate phone number that needs to be kept on file.
That’s because landlines sometimes experience problems, specifically during inclement weather, and can automatically dial 911.
“We still respond, and if nobody comes to the door, depending on the situation, we may force entry to make sure nobody is inside,” Henley said. “If we have the key holder’s information on file, the welfare can be checked in other manners.”
Business owners also are encouraged to update their key holder information, and also people who live alone or are going to be away from home on vacation.
People also can add an elderly family member who lives alone to their information.
“We would like to be able to make notification to the people that need it, and we can do that only if our contact information is up-to-date,” Henley said.
To update your information with the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department, call 812-358-2141.