10-Digit Reminder

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KINGSTON -- Making phone calls in northeastern and central Pennsylvania is about to change and there's an effort underway to make sure everyone is ready.

Starting Saturday, you'll have to dial the area code before every call, even if you are calling your neighbor and some fear it will take senior citizens a bit to get used to dialing more digits.

The reason you'll have to start dialing 10 digits even to make a local phone call is because a new 272 area code is coming to the region.

People who work with seniors in Luzerne County are making sure they know about the change now so there's less confusion this weekend.

Working as a service coordinator in a high rise building for seniors keeps Kristen Makowski busy on the phone for much of her day.

Makowski works at B'nai B'rith senior apartments in downtown Wilkes-Barre. On Saturday the seven digits she's dialing will change to 10.

"Probably on Monday, I'll have a lot of people at my office door wanting me to help them program phone numbers into their cell phones," said Makowski.

That's because a new 272 area code is entering northeastern and central Pennsylvania.  The 272 will be used for new numbers.

Numbers that already exist will remain 570, but people making local calls will now have to dial the area code first, something that Kristen said could be confusing for seniors.

"That's a challenge in itself, using the cell phones, but then adding in one more thing to know how to do and to remember to do will make it a little more difficult," said Makowski.

That's why Kristen has posted flyers around the building and plans to bring it up at the next tenants meeting this Friday.

But she made sure to give 96 year old Agnes Gregory the heads up.

"Because I'm old," Gregory said. "When you get older, you forget. You can't remember."

The Luzerne County Agency on Aging also posted flyers in all 18 senior centers throughout Luzerne and Wyoming Counties and put the information in its latest newsletter.

10-digit dialing starts on Saturday.