Thursday, 17 April 2014

Questions (183)

Anthony Lawlor

Question:

183. Deputy Anthony Lawlor asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government taking into account that personal monitored alarms are now available using mobile technology, the progress he has made in examining these alternative systems for the senior alert scheme; if funding will be available for personal alarms to be monitored through mobile phones, along with land lines; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18523/14]

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Written answers (Question to Environment)

The Seniors Alert Scheme aims to encourage community support for vulnerable older people in our communities by providing grant assistance towards the purchase and installation 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 Scheme is administered by local community and voluntary groups with the support of my Department.

My Department only approved applications for personal monitored alarms connected to a landline up to October 2013. Personal monitored alarms are now available using mobile technology and these alternative systems may also be funded at a similar rate when the sponsoring Community Group is satisfied that it meets the requirements of the beneficiary. It will be a matter for the sponsoring community group to satisfy itself that a system using mobile technology provides reliable coverage in its area. Mobile type devices currently on offer do not provide full mobile phone functionality and therefore are not a replacement for a telephone.

The funding allocated for the Seniors Alert Scheme in 2014 is €2.35million, which is sufficient to meet current demand levels for this important scheme.