‘Seniors Alert Scheme’ grant funding for monitored pendant alarms is available in Ireland. Further details on Seniors Alert eligibility criteria and how to get your Pobal grant-aided Seniors Alert Scheme monitored alarm is below [Updated: 06 April 2020]
Covid-19 Update: Regarding changes to telecare installations under the Seniors Alert Scheme during the Covid-19/Coronavbirus outbreak, at the time of writing pendant alarm deliveries are continuing, but with some changes to standard installation processes – see Personal Alarms And Telecare During Covid-19.
Seniors Alert Scheme grants are available for elderly and vulnerable older people in Ireland, who could benefit from having a 24-hour monitored alarm installed in their home. The scheme is currently administered by government agency Pobal. The Seniors Alert application forms are not completed by older people directly, but by registered community groups, who submit them to Pobal on the older persons behalf.
What is funded under the Seniors Alert Scheme?
- Monitored alarms – These are funded under the Seniors Alert Scheme for people aged 65 and over. 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 your 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 for Seniors Alert Scheme (SAS) grant funding are not made by older persons or family members directly. Instead, SAS funding applications are made by local and voluntary and community groups, registered with Pobal (i.e. the government agency that administers the scheme). SAS registered groups are listed on Pobal’s website and a group near to your home address will be able to apply on your behalf, for your Seniors Alert Scheme alarm. The registered group or Pobal will also be able to answer any questions, about your grant-aided monitored alarm under the Seniors Alert Scheme.
Who is eligible to apply for a Seniors Alert Alarm?
- People aged 65 years or older, and
- Of limited means or resources; and
- Living alone for significant periods of time during the day, or is a carer to someone else in their household. Or living alone, living with another person who meets the eligibility criteria; And
- Resides within geographical area of the relevant registered organisation; and
- 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
- Prepared to maintain contact with the registered organisation.
What about free 24-hour monitoring under the Seniors Alert Scheme?
Under the new Seniors Alert Scheme, the first year of 24-hour 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 Seniors Alert Scheme participants who receive monitored alarms under the new scheme.
- Thereafter TASK charge only €66 yearly for 24 hour monitoring. 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 with TASK 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 using TASK is that they will monitor a second pendant alarm AND other telecare equipment completely free of charge when it’s connected to the same telecare system. Most other companies charge for each additional device monitored, so also check this, before you decide on a monitoring provider.
- Lifetime guarantee – With TASK you will also have your monitored alarm maintained free of charge, as long as TASK are carrying out the monitoring of your alarm – in effect future-proofing your telecare system, even after the Seniors Alert Scheme warranty period.
TASK has confirmed they can monitor almost all makes of telecare equipment including Bosch, Tunstall, Tynetec, Chubb, TeleAlarm and many others. If you want to opt for TASK to monitor your Seniors Alert monitored alarm, you can contact their County Meath office on 01 843 5889.
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.
Other Seniors Alert Scheme 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or reached by telephone: 01 511 7222.
VIDEO: The Seniors Alert Scheme operated by Pobal is discussed by Pobal’s CEO & Senior Management at a Rural and Community Development Committee Meeting in January 2018
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.
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.