12 January 2018
By Bryan Smyth
Cork based Fine Gael Senator, Tim Lombard, has confirmed that additional funding has been made available for the Seniors Alert Scheme following a massive increase in applications for the free personalised alarms for people over 65.
“The objective of the Seniors Alert Scheme is to encourage community support for vulnerable older people in our communities by providing personal, monitored alarms to enable older persons to continue to live securely in their homes with confidence, independence and peace of mind.
“In October last year Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring, allocated €2.3 million for the Seniors Alert Scheme, widened the eligibility criteria, and launched a nationwide publicity campaign.
“The rate of applications for personal alarms quadrupled in November, leading the Minister to now allocate an additional €400,000.
Senator Lombard continued: “It is very positive to see such high uptake for this scheme. An additional 268 Cork seniors were approved for the Scheme in November last year, bringing the total approved applicants to 2,464, demonstrating this Government’s commitment to the safety of older people in our local communities.
“We need to make sure that as many of our older people avail of this scheme as possible, which is why I want am encouraging everyone reading this to get the word out.
“All you have to do is make contact with your local Seniors Alert group; there are many around the county, and you can find out about your local group by logging on to www.pobal.ie or phoning 01 511~7222.
“This measure exists with the support of local voluntary groups and if users feel in danger or require immediate assistance they can activate the device which will alert designated members of their community who can then assist them.
“The community groups that are supporting its delivery are providing a valuable service and deserve great credit.
“There is free personal monitoring of the alarm for the first 12 months after which the person pays a small fee. This measure contributes greatly to the safety and wellbeing of senior citizens in their homes.”