14,352 older people availing of personal monitored alarms under the Scheme

Existing Health Conditions and Fear of Crime key factors for applying for Scheme

Thursday 10th August:  Pobal, the intermediary body that manages programmes funded by Government and the EU, is calling on community groups to avail of supports for older persons under the Seniors Alert Scheme (SAS).

Managed by Pobal on behalf of the Department of Rural and Community Development, the Seniors Alert Scheme, provides funding for personal monitored alarms for vulnerable older people.

While the scheme has expanded with 14,352 people availing of personal monitored alarms, there is still scope for the provision of further alarms across the country.

A survey* of those who availed of the scheme between September 2015 and December 2016 found 68% were living alone, 67% were female, while 51% of all participants were over the age of 80. 52% cited an ‘existing health condition’ as one of the reasons for applying to the Scheme, while ‘fear of crime’ (13%) and ‘peace of mind’ (27%) were other contributory factors.  For those living in rural areas, isolation and crime rated highest in their motivation for applying to the Scheme.

Speaking about the Seniors Alert Scheme, Richard Deane of Pobal said:

“the Seniors Alert Scheme is a fantastic initiative as it enables people with limited means to remain living securely in their homes with confidence, independence and peace of mind. Pobal funds the alarm unit on behalf of the Department of Rural and Community Development and the Scheme is administered locally by community and voluntary groups. The scheme is a community response to keeping people connected and there are Seniors Alert Scheme approved groups in all 26 counties, all of which are listed on Pobal.ie.

Alarms, which are monitored 24 hours, can be worn as a pendant or around the wrist like a watch, ensuring assistance is always available no matter where the person is in their house. I would encourage all those with older family members or neighbours who are living on their own to contact their local community group to learn more about the Scheme. We are also always keen to hear from community groups that may be interested in delivering the scheme locally. To find out about your local community group or how to get involved please contact Pobal on 01 5117222.

Pobal began administering the Scheme in September 2015. A new iteration of the Seniors Alert Scheme will be launched later this year, it is currently going through a procurement process being carried out by Pobal on behalf of the Department of Rural and Community Development.

Pobal is a not-for-profit company that manages programmes on behalf of the Irish Government and the EU.

*Seniors Alert Scheme Progress Report September 2015 – December 2016 is available on www.pobal.ie