Government must promise to reopen scheme to protect the elderly — Ring

Fine Gael Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs Spokesperson Dep Michael Ring has called on Junior Minister John Curran to keep his commitment to reopen the Scheme of Community Support for Older People. Dep Ring said many older people do not feel safe in their own homes and the Government has a duty to reinstate this relatively inexpensive but important scheme.

“Many older people are living in fear of attack in their own homes and their worries will have been heightened by the recent tragic death of Paddy Barry,” Dep Ring added. “The Scheme of Community Support for Older People offers reassurance to older people in a range of ways including monitored alarms, panic buttons, and other security arrangements.

“The scheme, which was dropped on Budget Day, has been under review since then but Junior Minister Curran has indicated his intention to reopen it. This commitment must be followed through. Older people have been targeted by this Government as a soft touch for cutbacks but any Government with any sense of duty cannot stand by while the elderly are terrified in their own homes.

“I am also calling on people to make a point of visiting their older neighbours. Loneliness adds greatly to the feelings of vulnerability that older people have and knowing they have good and caring neighbours is a great comfort.

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