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Ormond Beach Observer Friday, Sep. 25, 2020 4 weeks ago

Ormond Beach resident opens new senior safety service

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Susan Doran wants families to have peace of mind when it comes to the wellbeing of independent seniors.
by: Jarleene Almenas Associate Editor

You are not alone.

That's what Ormond Beach resident Susan Doran wrote in the back of the business card for her new senior safety service, "Check on Me," through which she calls other seniors, particularly those who live alone, on a daily basis to make sure they're alright.

“Having a helping hand is just a safety net," she said.

Doran is a retired registered nurse and social worker. She began her nursing career in 1969, and later worked at a halfway house for ex-prisoners in New Mexico before moving to Florida and working in various hospitals. She's always had a passion for helping others, and when her husband died about 10 years ago, she realized how important companionship was.

She also realized the need for a service like hers when she lived in New Smyrna Beach and a man died across the street. She used to walk around the street and notice the newspapers in the front yards. Another neighbor had been picking them up for the man, and he also hadn't noticed anything amiss. So when the police arrived and told her the news, Doran was shaken. 

“I was so shocked," she said. "I’ve never gotten over that because here I thought that I was watching out for this neighbor.” 

She also had a similar experience about a year ago, when a friend — who lived in a remote area of Vermont — had a stroke in her home. Doran called her every day to check on her, as the woman had no neighbors or nearby family. One day, the woman didn't answer. When Doran called the next day, again there was no answer.

She had her brother check on her, but the woman didn't come to the door. After calling hospitals, her brother went back to the house and entered, finding her on the floor. 

“I said, ‘Put the phone to her ear,’” Doran recalled. “I said, ‘I told you, I would not leave you alone.’ She died about three hours later, but I always thought if I had not done that, if I had not followed through, she would have died alone. She would have been dead in that house for a long, long time.”

The service goes both ways. The people she calls make sure she's doing okay too.

What motivates her is her empathy for others, she said. She knows what it feels like to come home to an empty house and know no one will come in the door after you shut it. 

“If you don’t have that consistency of someone calling every day, it’s a danger point," she said.

Call Doran at 212-3280 for more information. 

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