An allocation of €2.3m for the renewed Seniors Alert Scheme from the Department of Rural and Community Development will allow even more Kildare senior residents to benefit from a personal alarm. The new scheme comes into effect on November 1st.

Deputy Martin Heydon said: “559 senior citizens in Kildare have received personal alarms in the last two years. I am delighted to confirm that this scheme will be extended to benefit even more people locally thanks to a new range of measures. From this year on, you will no longer have to be living alone in order to qualify for the scheme.

“This scheme exists with the support of local voluntary groups and if users feel in danger or require immediate assistance they can activate the device which will alert designated members of their community who can then assist them. There is free personal monitoring of the alarm for the first 12 months after which the person pays a small fee. This measure contributes greatly to the safety and wellbeing of senior citizens in their homes.

“I strongly encourage anyone who is eligible to avail of the scheme. The community groups that are supporting its delivery are providing a valuable service and deserve great credit.”

“All users have a base unit installed in their home which is connected to a national Seniors Alert Scheme helpline using landline or mobile telecommunications. When the user activates the personalised alarm it puts a call through to the national call centre which is open 24/7/365.  The call centre operator talks to the person in their home and decides whether to alert a local volunteer responder or, in potentially serious circumstances, the emergency services.

“Fine Gael is committed to giving a helping hand when needed to those who need it most our communities.  I hope the renewed scheme will help even more people enjoy a greater sense of security and peace of mind in their own homes.

“Other new elements of the scheme include free monitoring of the alarm service for the first year and a boost to administrative payments to community groups involved in rolling out the scheme.”

“If anyone would like to avail of the services and get access to an alarm and monitoring, please contact my office on 045-487624 and we can put you in touch with a local contact.”