Over 80,000 participants have availed of personal monitored alarms under the Scheme

Wednesday, 3 November 2021: Today, Joe O’Brien TD, Minister of State at the Department of Rural and Community Development has encouraged vulnerable older persons to avail of personal monitored alarms through the Seniors Alert Scheme.

The Minister made his remarks during a visit to An Síol CDP – Cabra at the Naomh Fionnbarra GAA Club, where he met with local people availing of the scheme.

Pic shows Minister Joe O’Brien, Minister of State with responsibility for Community Development and Charities at the Department of Rural and Community Development with on left local resident Maureen Kavanagh and in background from left , Richard Deane Pobal Head of Funder Liaison, Business Delivery & Programme Specification , residents Rose Tighe , Irene Cunningham and John Kelly at Naomh Fionnbarra GAA Club in Cabra Dublin. The Minister joined Pobal and An Siol CDP to discuss the Seniors Alert Scheme (SAS) which), provides funding for personal monitored alarms for vulnerable, older people throughout Ireland. Over 80,000 participants have availed of personal monitored alarms under the Scheme. (Pic Maxwell’s – No Repro Fee 3-11-21)

The Seniors Alert Scheme provides funding for a personal monitored alarm for vulnerable people aged over 65 throughout Ireland.

At the end of 2020, there were 662 registered community and voluntary organisations actively implementing the Seniors Alert Scheme in local towns, villages and communities across the country.

These organisations are involved in providing services for older people, such as the provision of befriending services and social supports, and have extensive networks among the local community.

Speaking about the Seniors Alert Scheme, Joe O’Brien TD, Minister of State said:

The Seniors Alert Scheme is a wonderful initiative as it enables vulnerable, older people to continue to live in their homes independently, bringing security and peace of mind to individuals and their families.

“I was delighted to meet with scheme participants and one of the locally registered SAS organisations actively implementing the scheme this morning. These organisations continue to support older people in the face of unprecedented challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“For many scheme participants and their families, the alarm has been a lifeline during this period, providing much needed reassurance that help was just a button push away in the event of an emergency.

“Particularly as we approach the winter months, I would encourage individuals to contact their local registered community group to access this life enriching support.

The Department of Rural and Community Development funds this scheme with €5.1 million provided to the demand-led scheme in 2020. The 2020 Seniors Alert Scheme (SAS) Annual Report highlights the importance of the scheme over the past year:

  • In total, there were 76,286 participants approved for the SAS by the end of 2020, this includes 16,939 new participants that joined in 2020.
  • Including participants who joined in 2021, there are now over 80,000 people availing of scheme.
  • Over half of SAS participants live alone (57%) while 7% are alone for significant periods of time.
  • Almost two thirds (65%) of people accessing the scheme to date are female.
  • At the end of 2020 there were 662 registered community and voluntary organisations actively implementing the SAS, of which 15 joined the scheme in 2020.

Pobal CEO, Ms Anna Shakespeare, said:

“The Seniors Alert Scheme is a community-based scheme, which provides a free personal monitored alarm and one year’s monitoring services to people of limited means aged 65 or older throughout Ireland. The alarm can be worn as a pendant around the neck or on the wrist like a watch. When pressed, it connects to a monitoring centre, ensuring assistance is always available no matter where the person is in their home. Pobal is committed to working closely with the Department of Rural and Community Development to raise awareness about the availability of this scheme, and encourages older people to contact their local community group to learn more about the Scheme. Applications can be made via your local SAS registered organisation, details of which can be found on www.pobal.ie.”