‘Seniors Alert Scheme’ (SAS) grant funding information for monitored pendant alarms is outlined below. Includes eligibility criteria and how to get your Seniors Alert Scheme alarm [Updated: 13 Nov 2017 to include details of the new 2017 Seniors Alert Scheme]
Seniors Alert Scheme grants are available for elderly and vulnerable older people in Ireland who could benefit from having a personal alarm/telecare system installed in their home. The scheme is currently administered by government agency, Pobal, however application forms for the scheme are completed by local community groups.
What is funded under the Seniors Alert Scheme?
- Monitored alarms – These are funded under the Seniors Alert Scheme for over-65s. The government grants do not have to be repaid and cover the cost of a complete pendant alarm system. That includes the pendant/wristband emergency alarm button and the telecare base-unit.
- Installation – Seniors Alert alarm installations are also carried out free of charge under the scheme.
- 24-hour monitoring – Monitoring is also included under the new 2017 Seniors Alert Scheme for the first year. Following that, the amount you will pay will be determined by the telecare company that monitors your alarm. It is the older person’s choice as to which telecare monitoring company to use for 24-hour monitoring under the new Seniors Alert Scheme.
How do I apply for a personal alarm grant under the Seniors Alert Scheme?
Applications are not made by older persons or family members directly under the Seniors Alert Scheme. Instead, grant funding applications are made by local and voluntary and community groups, registered with Pobal (i.e. the government agency that administers the scheme). Pobal provides an updated list of Seniors Alert Scheme Registered Groups on their website. You should look up the list to find the group closest to your home address and contact them directly, if you are interested in applying for a monitored alarm under the scheme.
Who is eligible to apply for a Seniors Alert Alarm?
1. Aged 65 years or older and:
2. Of limited means or resources; And
3. Living alone, living with another person who meets the eligibility criteria, Living alone for significant periods of time during the day, or is a Carer to someone else in their household; And
4. Resides within geographical area of the relevant registered organisation; And
5. Able to benefit from the equipment supplied (e.g. to prevent you from becoming a victim of crime or from becoming incapacitated through illness or a fall); And
6. Prepared to maintain contact with the registered organisation.
24/7 monitoring under the Seniors Alert Scheme
Under the Seniors Alert Scheme, you can opt to have the 24/7 monitoring carried out by any telecare monitoring company of your choice. As noted above, under the new scheme (which began in September 2017) the first years monitoring is included free of charge.
- Our Sponsor, TASK Community Care, Ireland’s longest established telecare company also provides one year free monitoring for all participants under the new Seniors Alert Scheme.
- Thereafter they charge only €66 yearly for 24 hour monitoring (…but importantly, TASK has not increased their monitoring charges since the Seniors Alert Scheme began, over twenty years ago, so if you choose them for monitoring not only will you get the first year free, but you won’t need to worry about year on year monitoring charge increases). Whichever monitoring company you choose, make sure to ask about their history of raising prices after the first year and expected future monitoring charges.
- Another benefit of choosing TASK is that they also monitor a second pendant alarm and other telecare equipment completely free of charge when connected to the same telecare system (…many other companies charge for each additional device monitored, so always check this too, before you decide on a monitoring provider).
Note: TASK has confirmed they can monitor almost all makes of telecare equipment including Bosch, Tunstall, Tynetec, Chubb, TeleAlarm and many others. You can contact their County Meath office on 01 843 5889 with any questions about using them for monitoring of your Seniors Alert Scheme Alarm.
How long will it take for your monitored alarm to be installed?
Once a participant application has been approved by Pobal, the registered group contacts the monitored alarm supplier to arrange the installation. The equipment funded is installed as soon as possible and must be installed within six weeks of receipt of approval from Pobal. The Suppliers’ obligation is to install within ten (10) calendar days of receiving the order or 3 calendar days in emergency cases. This is subject to agreement with all parties i.e. the registered organisation, the participant and the designated supplier.
Note: If you need your monitored alarm urgently, you can also purchase your alarm privately from any reputable telecare provider.
Further details for community groups interested in registering for the Seniors Alert Scheme
Any organisation interested in delivering the Seniors Alert Scheme in their area must be a community based, voluntary and not-for-profit organisation. The objective of the Seniors Alert Scheme is to encourage community support for vulnerable older people by providing personal alarms for elderly people. Therefore, community groups will be required to show evidence of previously working with, or providing services to, older people in the community. The scheme can only be operated by organisations registered with Pobal. Your organisation can register online at https://sas.pobal.ie to apply to deliver Seniors Alert Scheme grants. Further information on registering your community group is also contained within Pobal’s Seniors Alert Scheme Information Brochure.
Other Seniors Alert Scheme 2017 questions?
The full eligibility criteria, along with further information on the scheme, is contained within Pobal’s Seniors Alert Scheme Brochure. You can also direct questions about the Seniors Alert Scheme directly to Pobal or to your local registered community or voluntary group. Pobal’s client services team can be emailed about the scheme on email@example.com or reached by telephone: 01 511 7222.
Or you can listen to this NearFM Podcast with some further information about the new Seniors Alert Scheme being given to Near FM’s Austin McCoy, by Richard Deane from Pobal.
Details on previous government funding and beneficiaries in Ireland under the Seniors Alert Scheme (SAS):
Note: The 2010 amount stated in the above infographic of €3.1m is the allocated amount for that year. Actual government expenditure in 2010 for the Seniors Alert Scheme (previously Scheme of Community Support for Older People CSOP) is unconfirmed.