KATY MAGAZINE NEWS
December 20, 2020
By Natalie Cook Clark
The Harris County Precinct 5 Silver Watch Program continues to grow during the holidays and the pandemic. Due to COVID-19 precautions, deputies are checking on those registered for the free service with a weekly phone call.
Katy seniors living in the Precinct 5 area can register easily for Silver Watch online.
Katy Senior Praises Program
“I’m here all alone and I’ve lost most of my family and friends,” says Lila Slavens, 88, of Katy. “It’s comforting to know that the officers care and know about me.”
Slavens registered herself for Silver Watch last year and found the online process to be very easy.
The Silver Watch program was proposed by Patrol Chief Jordan Goff and launched in 2019 by Constable Ted Heap. Patrol Chief Goff realized a need for the program when a friend mentioned he was unable to visit his parents living in Meyerland. He didn’t have a way to physically check up on them.
Now, Precinct 5 Deputies check in on registered seniors and also educate them on things like current scams that target the elderly. The Silver Watch program continues to grow and now serves more than 100 active participants. Most registered are over 70 years old and have underlying health conditions.
“Since the pandemic began, we have been conducting our checkups by phone only,” says Robert Henslee with Harris County, Precinct 5. “Before the pandemic, these checks were either made in person or over the phone, depending on the participant’s preference.”
Seniors are Frequently Targeted
"We know it can be worrisome to have a loved one living on their own as they reach their golden years," states the official Precinct 5 Facebook page. "And, unfortunately, senior citizens are frequently targeted as victims by those who prey upon others."
This vulnerability is one of the reasons that inspired Constable Heap to launch the program last year.
Precinct 5 reports that registration has gone up since the start of the pandemic, but it’s impossible to know if the increase is related to that or not.
The Centers for Disease Control is urging against travel this holiday season. If a Katy elderly family member or friend is going to be alone, Silver Watch can give them and those who love them peace of mind.
Register Yourself or a Loved One
"Silver Watch is designated to inform, to educate, and to serve the senior population here in Precinct 5," says Constable Ted Heap.
Under this program, senior citizens can sign up, or be signed up by concerned family members, for regular personal welfare checks.
“I feel assured that they would know what to do if something happened,” says Slavens. “Nick, the officer who checks on me, has become my friend and says to call him if I need anything.”
Once a senior resident is registered, an officer will follow up with a phone call to get any additional information that can best help serve the individual.
“Silver Watch is a blessing,” says Slavens. “I hope more senior citizens will register.”
Learn more about Silver Watch and register today.