Local/Regional News
9:59 pm
Mon April 8, 2013

Letter Carriers Go On Alert For Residents Who Live Alone

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Local postal carriers are partnering with the city of Lexington to watch out for the elderly or disabled citizens who live home alone.

Officials announced the launch of “Carrier Alert” Monday.  The program lets authorities know if a registered participant has an unusual accumulation of mail. Lexington Postmaster Mike Hernandez says the agreement formalizes a process that many letter carriers already do.

“You’ve heard the stories where they’ve noticed the same thing, the accumulation of mail, so they make the inquiry. And lo and behold somebody has fallen and they’re unconscious or they have a medical issue. And they were able to get medical services in there and actually save lives.”

Lexington Postmaster Mike Hernandez (left) and Mayor Jim Gray watch as Ella Richey, 94, becomes the first resident to sign up for Carrier Alert.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 28% of Kentucky households are people living by themselves, and nearly 10% of households are people age 65 and older living alone.

The Carrier Alert program is the first of its kind in Kentucky. Participants register their name and emergency contact information with Lexington’s Social Services Department. They also receive a special sticker to place inside their mailbox, which lets the postal carrier know to watch out for anything out of the ordinary.

Registration forms are available at Lexington post offices, by calling 3-1-1, or by going online to BeReadyLexington.com.