Written Answers. - Security of the Elderly.

Tony Gregory

Ceist:

465 Mr. Gregory asked the Minister for Social, Community and Family Affairs the number of individuals and groups who availed of the scheme for grants towards the installation of alarms in the homes of elderly people living alone in the Dublin 1 and Dublin 3 north city districts; the names of the organisations concerned; and the numbers of elderly persons they catered for in each case. [7669/01]

My Department has, since 1996, operated the scheme of community support for older people, the purpose of which is to provide funding for initiatives to improve the security and social support of vulnerable older people. This funding is provided by way of grant aid to voluntary groups and organisations who have ndertaken to identify those elderly people in need of assistance under the scheme. Since its commencement, a total of £22 million has been allocated to the scheme, which to the end of 2000 has assisted some 80,482 individuals.

Accordingly, I propose to have the scheme of community support for older people advertised in both the national and provincial press by the end of March, at which time any voluntary or community-based organisation working with or providing support for vulnerable older people may submit applications for funding on their behalf.

Applications received for funding under the scheme from organisations in the Dublin North region, which includes Dublin 1 and 3, are assessed by the Dublin North regional office of my Department and funding of £342,194 was allocated in 2000 under the scheme to organisations in that region.

Details of all funding made available under this and other funding schemes-programmes operated by my Department have been made available to the Oireachtas Library each year for the information of members. Details of funding made available in 2000 are currently being finalised and will be made available to the Oireachtas Library in the coming weeks for the information of members.

Pat Carey

Ceist:

466 Mr. P. Carey asked the Minister for Social, Community and Family Affairs if any guidelines exist in relation to the provision of socially monitored alarms; if a recipient is entitled to a replacement alarm after a certain number of years as many recipients who benefited from the scheme in first years of its administration now find that the units are obsolete and more sophisticated models are available; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7929/01]

My Department has, since 1996, operated the scheme of community support for older people, the purpose of which is to provide funding for initiatives to improve the security and social support of vulnerable older people. This funding is provided by way of grant aid to voluntary groups and organisations which have undertaken to identify those elderly people in need of assistance under the scheme. Since its commencement, a total of £22 million has been allocated to the scheme, which to the end of 2000 has assisted some 80,482 individuals. I am anxious to ensure that this scheme continues to address the security needs of the most vulnerable older people in our society.

Under the terms of the scheme grant aid is available towards the purchase and/or installation cost of: small-scale physical security equipment such as strengthening of doors and windows, window locks, door chains and locks and security lighting; and socially-monitored alarm systems, such as the "pendant" alarm system which is operated via the telephone and is worn around the neck or wrist.

To qualify for assistance under the scheme, people aged 65 or over must be living alone or be living in households made up exclusively of older people, or of older people who are dependent and vulnerable and be unable to install or purchase the equipment covered by the scheme themselves.

Funding is not available under the scheme for the replacement of socially monitored alarms as raised in the Deputy's question.

A review of the scheme was completed in April 1999 and any plans to amend the shceme will be considered in a budgetary context.