Steamboat Springs Milner resident Jane Winograsky will miss her regular visits with the Routt County Sheriff's Office.
Winograsky, 89, is one of several elderly Routt County residents who have been affected by Sheriff Gary Wall's decision to cut the AARP ElderWatch program.
"I really appreciated it," she said. "I was sorry to hear that the program was cut. I thought it was going to continue. It isn't very fair."
Former Sheriff's Office deputy Elise Andres had headed the program designed to protect elderly, rural residents from crime and financial scams since the program began in 2003.
Andres said she spent her time helping elderly residents such as Winograsky fill out paperwork for energy assistance and medical help in addition to providing other law enforcement services.
On Thursday, Wall said he allowed the ElderWatch program to "die of natural causes."
Andres resigned from the Sheriff's Office three weeks ago. She said she was spending more and more time as a detention officer and less and less time with the ElderWatch Program.
"Through my visits and other calls for service, I found a lot of our seniors live alone and had some special needs," she said. "I think ending this program sends a message to our seniors that they don't matter, and they do matter."
Wall said that's not the case. "If anybody needs to be taken care of in the county, we will do that regardless of age," he said.
Wall also has decided not to revive the DARE program, a drug and substance abuse education program Andres taught in some Routt County schools.
Wall said he "inherited" both of the programs and decided not to participate in them after evaluating them.
"ElderWatch died a natural sort of death," he said. "DARE had run its course. No one has encouraged me to continue that program or even start it up."
In addition to her ElderWatch duties, Andres was performing other job duties at the Sheriff's Office that kept her from the program.
Wall contends Andres was only seeing "two or three people."
"We can't afford having a full time person spending time seeing two or three people," he said.
Andres said she was in contact with at least 30 people, and would call or see about 10 of those people every week until she was no longer given the time to continue the program.
"I believed in the program because it provided our residents with a much needed service," she said. "I'm sad to see it go."
Shelley Orrell, program director for the Routt County Council on Aging, said she was disappointed when she heard the program was being cut.
"It's unfortunate because Elise (Andres) was able to go out in a capacity and reach people we weren't accessing," she said. Elise "could help people who were isolated or being violated by scams."