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Written Answers. - Security of the Elderly.

Wednesday, 27 March 2002

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 551 No. 3

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 200. Mr. Healy Information on Seamus Healy Zoom on Seamus Healy  asked the Minister for Social, Community and Family Affairs Information on Dermot Ahern Zoom on Dermot Ahern  the consideration he has given to have a scheme for the provision of personal security alarms for the elderly funded, implemented and operated by his Department in view of the long delays and uncertainty regarding the provision of such alarms. [10391/02]

Minister for Social, Community and Family Affairs (Mr. D. Ahern): Information on Dermot Ahern Zoom on Dermot Ahern My Department has, since 1996, operated the scheme of community support for older people, the purpose of which is to provide funding for initiatives to improve the security and social support of vulnerable older people. This funding is provided by way of grant aid to voluntary groups and organisations who have undertaken to identify those elderly people in need of assistance under the scheme.

Since its commencement, a total of €32.5 million has been allocated to the scheme, which to [869] the end of 2000 has assisted some 80,482 individuals. Some €4.4 million has been provided for the scheme in 2002.

In general, grants under the scheme cover 50% of the once-off cost of the purchase and-or installation of the necessary security equipment but grants of up to 90% maybe made where the circumstances so warrant.

Any voluntary or community based organisation working with or providing support for vulnerable older people may apply for grant aid. Individual people who wish to obtain information on how they, or older people known to them, can obtain assistance under this scheme should contact their local representative of any of the organisations involved in the scheme, such as Muintir na Tire, Neighbourhood Watch, Community Alert, or any other group involved in the scheme in their local area. Alternatively, they may contact the relevant social welfare regional office for information on which local organisations may be involved in the scheme.

The 2002 scheme of grants will be advertised extensively in the national and provincial newspapers in the near future. While a closing date for receipt of applications is applied each year, the regional offices of my Department are flexible in accepting late applications, their prime concern being the safety and security of vulnerable older people in the community.

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