Wednesday 17 July 2019

Rise in numbers using Senior Alerts Scheme

New figures have shown that the number of people availing of the Senior Alerts Scheme across County Cork has more than doubled over the last year.

Run by Pobal, the Government body that supports communities and local agencies in promoting social inclusion and development, the scheme was developed to offer support to older people. 

It provides for a personal alarm connected to a dedicated contact and monitoring centre enabling people aged 65 and over and of limited means to continue to live independently and securely in their own homes. 

Provided free of charge the alarms, which can be worn like a normal wrist watch or a pendant, are connected wirelessly to a base unit (usually attached to a phone).

When activated the send a call to the 24-hour monitoring centre alerting staff that the wearer is in need of assistance. 

The monitoring service is provided free for the first year, after which it will incur a modest fee. 

Figures to the end of October showed there were 4,474 people in Cork registered on the scheme, compared to 2,196 at the same time in 2017. 

Commenting on the figures, Cllr John Paul O'Shea (FG) said the increase was clear evidence that people are realising the benefits of the scheme.

"This level of increase was mirrored nationally, with a 112% increase in applications across the country," said Cllr O'Shea. 

He said the Dept of Rural and Community Development, which funds the initiative, allocated €2.3 million to administer the scheme in 2019 and that Minister Michael Ring would seek additional funding should it be needed to ensure all eligible applicants can join the scheme.

"I would like to see more people avail of the scheme during 2019 and am calling on people with older, relatives, neighbours and friends to make them aware of it and help them sign up," said Cllr O'Shea.