SIR – Personal alarms are available for those over 65 and of limited resources through the Seniors Alert Scheme managed by Pobal. This scheme is delivered by local voluntary groups, approved by Pobal, which through their networks identify those who would benefit from a personal alarm.
There are almost 30 such small voluntary groups from Bandon to Beara providing this service looking after the elderly in their community and assisting them with alarms to stay safe in their own homes. While there have been groups which previously administered similar schemes, there is sadly now no group registered on the Pobal scheme for Skibbereen.
Local public health nurses have contacted some of the approved voluntary groups outside the town of Skibbereen over the recent years and asked them to provide alarms for specific people in Skibbereen. Community alert groups from Baltimore, Castlehaven and Caheragh have done so on numerous occasions, in the expectation that we would eventually find people in Skibbereen who we could assist in registering with Pobal and establish a small group in the town to provide alarms for the elderly there.
Generally, because of the lack of a Skibbereen group, only people who have come to the attention of public health nurses are getting alarms. The real value of the voluntary groups registered with Pobal is in having local knowledge of who will benefit from the scheme, ideally before they come to the attention of nurses.
Baltimore Community Alert Group have approached many groups in Skibbereen who, we thought, might provide this service for their own community. These attempts have come to nothing.
It is therefore a sad realisation that nothing will change in providing alarms for the elderly in Skibbereen while we have this stopgap and incomplete solution. As of immediate affect we will only provide alarms for our approved areas of Baltimore (including Inishbeg and Reengaroga), Castlehaven, Myross and Caheragh.
If anyone, group or individual, decides to come forward and establish a group to provide alarms for the Skibbereen community, the Baltimore, Castlehaven and Caheragh groups would, of course be delighted to assist in getting approval for a new group in Skibbereen by Pobal. A new group would not have to be a Community Alert Group; it could be any ‘not-for-profit’ existing or new group.
Baltimore Community Alert Group can be contacted at [email protected] and details of the scheme can be obtained by going to sas.pobal.ie.
Community Alert Group.