Callous cuts to personal alarm service

A big cut in grants for personal alarms for the elderly of Laois has come under attack.

Sean Fleming criticised the Government for cutting funding for personal monitored alarms.

The Seniors Alert Scheme is designed to support vulnerable older people by providing a grant towards the purchase and installation of personal monitored alarms to enable them to continue to live securely in their homes with peace of mind.

Figures provided to Dep Fleming in the Dáil show that over the last two years the Government has cut the funding under this scheme by 42% in Laois down to €28,849 in 2013 from €49,945. Laois fared worse than neighbouring Offaly which received over €51,000 in 2013.

Meanwhile during the same period the Government increased funding for this scheme to 12 counties throughout the country. This is very important scheme which allows people to live in their own homes with safety.

“They need this personal monitored alarm so they can contact somebody if they are worried or in a panicked situation,” said Dep Fleming.

“What is worse, Joan Burton TD the new leader of the Labour Party abolished the Telephone Allowance for elderly people earlier this year. “Many vulnerable elderly people needed this allowance to help them pay for their landline which they needed for these monitored alarms.

“Many elderly people do not have a good mobile phone signal or do not have a mobile phone and needed this,” he said.

The Fianna Fáil TD said this “double attack” on the elderly people is “callous and unnecessary”.

Dep Fleming concluded by saying “the Government should leave older people alone.”




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