CHESTERVILLE — Lois Seamon opened the door to her home Wednesday to greet Franklin County Sheriff Scott Nichols Sr., who had arrived to bring in firewood for her.

The 84-year-old said she would have carried it in herself, but not with so much snow on the ground.

Nichols, a distant relative, left to go to the barn to fill up a wheelbarrow with wood from a neatly stacked pile that her son and his 7-year-old twin daughters from Hawaii had put up during a visit.

“I love it,” Seamon said of Nichols’ help.

She also loves the idea of the Elder Check Program that Nichols started in October. Two friends of hers are participating, and they love it, too, she said.

Deputies check on older people around the county to make sure they are doing OK.

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Seamon is not part of the program, but Nichols has been arriving at her door at least once a week to bring in wood.

“It makes me feel good to know someone is doing something for her that she is not supposed to be doing,” her sister, Liz Jones of Bingham, said as she and Seamon stood in the kitchen.

Seamon primarily heats with a wood stove in the living room and uses a wood stove for cooking in the kitchen.

Just as Nichols pushed a wheelbarrow full of wood to the front porch, Seamon made sure the door was open to let him in. He stacked the firewood in the wood box and then went to get another load.

Nichols came to the porch door again and started to dust off the snow.

“Don’t bother with that,” Seamon said. “We are farmers; we don’t care about that.”

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When she called the Sheriff’s Office to find out if there was help, she thought they probably don’t carry firewood but the sheriff said he would do it, Seamon said.

His grandfather was her uncle, Seamon said.

Seamon looked at the piled wood in the wood box.

“Look at that. Very good. That will last me,” she said.

Nichols returned to the barn to get another load and this time wheeled it up a ramp and into the kitchen to fill a smaller wood box.

“The good news is it is smaller-sized split wood,” he said. “You get a lot of volume out of it,” he said, as he filled the box next to the cook stove. When he finished, Nichols told her she was good for another week.

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Nichols said he got a phone call one day from Seamon, who had recently been in the hospital. She asked if she could be part of the Elder Check Program. He volunteered to haul the wood himself.

“When you see a need, you take care of it,” Nichols said. “There is a woman in Wilton who is also not part of the program and word filtered back to us that she was almost out of wood.”

The guys recently got together and pitched in some money and bought several bags of wood blocks, he said. Chief Deputy Steven Lowell and Lt. David Rackliffe delivered them to the Wilton resident Feb. 13.

Deputies are trying to make sure they don’t take the place of social services but at the same time provide help to those over 70 years old who may need it, Nichols said.

They have eight official members in the program and two unofficial members.

Deputies show up weekly and check on people to see how they are doing. A different deputy goes each week so people get to know them.

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“It has been greatly received by everyone,” Nichols said.

He started the program because these days there is a lot of abuse of older people, including physical abuse and theft of drugs and money. Deputies want to make them aware of what is going on and educate them on the newest scams so that they don’t fall victim, he said.

“It’s going good and we’re going to continue it,” Nichols said.

People interested in participating in the Elder Check Program can call the Sheriff’s Office at 778-2680.

[email protected]


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