My Department is responsible for the seniors alert scheme which encourages community support for vulnerable older people in our communities through the provision of personal monitored alarms to enable them to live securely in their homes with confidence, independence and peace of mind. Funding is available under the scheme towards the purchase by a registered community-based organisation of a personal alarm or pendant.
Following a review, I launched a new scheme which took effect on 1 November 2017 and provides one year's free monitoring to participants. A media and information campaign was organised to support the launch. I am pleased to say that since the launch of the new seniors alert scheme, the demand has been unprecedented. During 2018, more than 19,200 applications were approved, with 20,288 installations completed.
My Department's allocation for 2018 was €2.3 million. However, given the huge increase in demand for the scheme, savings were identified from other areas within my Department's allocation to ensure that all new applicants could be provided for. The total expenditure on the seniors alert scheme in 2018 was €6,984,000.