Pobal, the intermediary body that manages programmes funded by Government and the EU, is calling on community groups in Westmeath 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 215 older people in Westmeath availing of personal monitored alarms, there is still scope for the provision of further alarms.
A survey of those who availed of the scheme nationally between September, 2015, and December, 2016, found 68 per cent were living alone, 67 per cent were female, and 51 per cent of all participants were older than 80. Some 52 per cent cited an existing health condition as one of the reasons for applying to the scheme, while fear of crime (13 per cent ) and peace of mind (27 per cent ) 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 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.
To find out about your local community group or how to get involved contact Pobal on (01 ) 5117222.