Seán Crowe TD urges greater use of the Personal Alert Scheme
Dublin South West Sinn Féin TD Seán Crowe has urged senior citizens to make better use of the Personal Alert Scheme.
Deputy Crowe made his call after two separate savage attacks on senior citizens were highlighted in the courts and believes that the original scheme and the criteria for its access needs to be reviewed in light of its poor take up.
Speaking today he said;
“Like most people I was horrified and extremely angry watching and reading the reports this week of vicious assaults on senior citizens in their homes by sick and depraved cowards and thugs.
“Unfortunately these cases highlight in a scary and graphic way, the vulnerability of senior citizens, many of whom live in isolated areas.
“The last thing I or anyone else wants to do is needlessly frighten or undermine the confidence of senior citizens, but I would urge more of them and their families, to consider taking up the Government’s Personal Alert Scheme that is currently undersubscribed.
“Under a third of the €800,000 allocated last year was spent on the scheme which provides personal alarms for those over 65 living alone and who meet the criteria. Lack of knowledge of the scheme or information on the organisations registered for the alert scheme may also be a factor in its low take up.
“Considering the obvious need for this type of support service it is shameful particularly when you consider the amount of older people who could possibly benefit from the scheme. The low take up would suggest it needs to be reviewed and I will be urging the Minister Catherine Byrne who is responsible to do just that.
“The Senior Alert Scheme enables many elderly to continue living securely in their own home. The alarms are monitored on a 24/7 basis and allow older people who get into difficulty to receive instant support from family and friends or the Emergency Services.
“The equipment is funded through Pobal and made available through community, voluntary or not for profit organisations who are registered under the scheme.
“Any starting point for building an inclusive society should be that no senior citizens should feel isolated or frightened in their own home and those who target them need to face the maximum sentencing available.
“The Personal Alert Scheme can help. It breaks down isolation giving greater confidence to someone knowing that help is just a phone call away. Following this week’s awful stories I am personally appealing and urging greater take up of this scheme by senior citizens and their loved ones.” ENDS