Sheriff Ronny Theriot, wife Kathy, and staff members of the St. Martin Parish Sheriff’s office, provided a gumbo lunch for Lower St. Martin Parish seniors on Saturday, Jan. 21, in the Stephensville Elementary School gym.
The annual luncheon, as always, was well attended by seniors from Belle River, Stephensville and Four-mile Bayou. King Cake and coffee were available for pre-luncheon snacking while guests chatted among themselves and with representatives of SHIP (Senior Health Insurance Program) and the Yellow Dot program.
Sheriff Theriot welcomed guests and then introduced Deputy Daisy Trimble, who acts as a liaison between the Sheriff’s office, and the seniors, among other duties.
Other speakers included Shirley Akers from the District Attorney’s office and JoWanda Edwards with the SHIP program. Edwards is available for seniors who have Medicare issues. Each guest was given a packet of information concerning Medicare insurance programs, the different Medicare plans and information about Medicaid programs.
Mike Madona with the Louisiana Senior Medicare Patrol spoke next, telling guests that Medicare fraud was a $60 billion problem in the US, and Louisiana led the country in instances of fraud. He urged seniors to protect their Medicare number, to check their Medicare statements carefully and to report anything that seemed unusual or suspicious.
Major Ginny Higgins and associate Mike Roberts then explained the St. Martin Sheriff’s office Yellow Dot program.
Each guest was provided with a yellow plastic folder containing information on this program. Included in the packet was a bright yellow sticker which should be put on the back window of a vehicle where it would easily be seen in case of an accident.
The packet itself belongs in the glove compartment and should list all a person’s medications, their emergency contact information, hospital preference, medical conditions and preferred physicians. Along with personal information – name, address, phone numbers – this packet of information would be used by first responders for quick action in time of need. A photo was also included in the packet and was taken right at the luncheon site.
This Yellow Dot program is the first of its kind in Louisiana and was created to assist citizens following automobile accidents when they might not be able to communicate for themselves.
Following a luncheon of chicken and sausage gumbo, potato salad, cake and soft drinks, Deputy Trimble and helpers called bingo numbers with game players winning many prizes, and then gave out door prizes.
The seniors of Lower St. Martin Parish thank Sheriff Theriot for this wonderful annual event and for all the other attention he and his office have given this corner of the parish. As he himself said, “We want to change the attitude toward this area. You are not the ‘no-man’s land’ anymore.”