THE Seniors Alert Scheme provides funding for a free personal monitored alarm for people aged 65 and older and of limited means. The scheme is intended to support older people to live securely and independently in their homes.
Who is eligible for the scheme?
To be eligible for the Seniors Alert Scheme, you must be aged 65 or over and have limited means or resources.
You must also be any of the following:
Living alone for significant periods of time during the day
Living with someone who meets the criteria
Caring for someone else in your household
You must live in the area covered by the registered group administering the funding and be able to benefit from the equipment being supplied. You also need to be willing to keep contact with the registered group.
Is there a cost involved?
All equipment and installation under the scheme is free. The alarm monitoring service is free for the first year. After the first year, you will be asked to pay the annual monitoring fee.
The annual monitoring fee will vary by service provider and the type of alarm or pendant supplied. Your local group can tell you about the cost in advance.
If there is no suitable landline available in your home and a mobile signal is used to connect to the equipment, you may have to pay a fee for mobile SIM rental.
What type of equipment can I get?
Funding is available to buy and install monitored personal alarms, which can be worn as a pendant or around your wrist like a watch. These alarms connect to a national helpline through a base unit installed in your home.
When the alarm is activated, it automatically rings the helpline, which is open 24 hours a day all year round. A helpline operator talks to you in your home and decides whether to alert a local volunteer responder or, if necessary, the emergency services.
Equipment supplied under the scheme remains the property of the registered group and must be returned to the group if no longer needed.
How do I get the equipment?
You must contact a community or voluntary group registered in your area.
The registered community or voluntary group will:
Assess your eligibility for the scheme and complete the application form with you
Identify the equipment required and get quotations from suppliers
Submit the application and supporting documentation to Pobal.
You will be asked to confirm that you understand the purpose of the equipment and that you will be responsible for the annual monitoring fee after the first year.
How to apply
Contact the group registered to operate the scheme in your area. Pobal publishes a list of registered organisations on its website: www.pobal.ie
You can also contact your local Citizens Information Centre for details of your local group.
What groups can register as providers of the scheme?
Community, voluntary and not-for-profit organisations can apply to register with Pobal for the scheme.
For further information call a member of the local Citizens Information Service in West Cork on 0818 07 8390. They will be happy to assist you and if necessary arrange an appointment for you. The offices are staffed from 10am-5pm from Monday to Thursday and on Friday from 10am-4pm.