ADDITIONAL funding is available for the Seniors Alert Scheme following an upsurge in applications for the free personalised alarms for people over 65, according to Louth Fine Gael TD Fergus O'Dowd.
The objective of the Seniors Alert Scheme is to encourage community support for vulnerable older people in our communities through the provision of personal monitored alarms to enable older persons, of limited means, to continue to live securely in their homes with confidence, independence and peace of mind.
The Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring, initially allocated €2.3 million for the Seniors Alert Scheme in October.
The rate of applications for personal alarms quadrupled in November after Minister Ring widened the eligibility criteria for the scheme and launched a nationwide publicity campaign, leading the Minister to allocate an additional €400,000.
Mr O'Dowd said: “It’s very positive to see a good uptake for this scheme. An additional 59 seniors were approved for the scheme here in Louth since October.
“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 nine active groups around the county and you can find out about your local group by logging on to www.pobal.ie or phoning 01 5117222.
“The community groups that are supporting its delivery are providing a valuable service and deserve great credit.
“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.
“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.
“This funding furthers our commitment to the safety of older people in our community,” said Mr O'Dowd.