Seniors Alert Scheme – Parliamentary Questions

 

Below are Seniors Alert Scheme related parliamentary questions/responses as discussed in  Dáil Éireann

 

Fergus O Dowd_Fine Gael

Deputy Fergus O’Dowd

Party: Fine Gael

18 January 2018

Topic: Seniors Alert Scheme

 

 

324. Deputy Fergus O’Dowd Information on Fergus O'Dowd Zoom on Fergus O'Dowd asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development Information on Michael Ring Zoom on Michael Ring the status of the seniors alert scheme; and the changes he plans to improve participation in the service. [2584/18]

 

Minister for Rural and Community Development (Deputy Michael Ring): Information on Michael Ring Zoom on Michael Ring My Department is responsible for the Seniors Alert Scheme which encourages support for vulnerable people in our communities through the provision of personal monitored alarms to enable them to continue to live securely in their homes with confidence, independence and peace of mind. Funding is available under the scheme towards the purchase by a registered community-based organisation of equipment i.e. a personal alarm and/or pendant, which is provided to the elderly person participating. The scheme is operated on my Department’s behalf by Pobal.

Following a review, a new version of the scheme was launched on 1st November 2017. A number of important new changes were introduced, including an extension of the eligibility criteria to include elderly people who live on their own for long periods during the day and the introduction of free monitoring for the first year, following which a small charge will apply. In tandem with the new scheme, a nationwide public awareness campaign is being rolled out, in partnership with Pobal, to increase a greater level of awareness, interest and participation in the scheme.

I am pleased to report a very high uptake of the new scheme which I have facilitated through the provision of additional funding. By end December 2017, over 21,000 applications have been approved and some 18,000 installations were made.  My Department will continue to review the operation of the scheme, and will continue to encourage elderly people to participate in this scheme


Mary Butler_Fianna Fail

Deputy Mary Butler

Party: Fianna Fáil

7 November 2017

Mobile Telephony Services

 

 962. Deputy Mary Butler Information on Mary Butler Zoom on Mary Butler asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Information on Denis Naughten Zoom on Denis Naughten when the advanced mobile location scheme will be launched; if it will require a further financial contribution by senior alert scheme recipients; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45797/17]

 

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): Information on Denis Naughten Zoom on Denis Naughten Following the successful completion of a pilot scheme to evaluate its operation in Ireland, I launched Advanced Mobile Location (AML) on 19 October together with the Minister for Rural and Community Development, Deputy Michael Ring. When an emergency call is made to 112 or 999 using an Android mobile phone, a text message with the location information of the caller is sent automatically to the Emergency Call Answering Service.  AML provides a far greater degree of accuracy for the caller’s location than was previously available and is expected to assist Emergency Services around the country in locating callers.

As is the case with all calls to 112/999, there is no charge to the caller, including Senior Alert Service recipients, for making a 112/999 call from a phone that is AML technology-enabled.


Tommy Broughan_Independent

Deputy Thomas P. Broughan

Independent

7 November 2017

Topic: Seniors Alert Scheme

 

 

1153. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan Information on Thomas P. Broughan Zoom on Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development Information on Michael Ring Zoom on Michael Ring the reason his Department has excluded community development groups from installing social alarms under the new changes to the senior alert scheme in view of the fact that community development groups already have the responsibility for the administration of the scheme (details supplied). [46131/17]

 

Minister for Rural and Community Development (Deputy Michael Ring): Information on Michael Ring Zoom on Michael Ring My Department is responsible for the Seniors Alert Scheme which encourages support for vulnerable older people in our communities through the provision of personal monitored alarms to enable them to continue to live securely in their homes with confidence, independence and peace of mind. The scheme is operated on my Department’s behalf by Pobal.

Following a review, a new version of the scheme was launched on 1st November. Local community groups continue to have a key role in the operation of this scheme, primarily by means of their on-going contact with the elderly people.

Following a tender process, Pobal entered into contracts with a number of suppliers for the provision of services on behalf of the Seniors Alert Scheme from 1st November. I understand that the tender process and sub-contracting arrangements for the new scheme do not preclude particular organisations, such as local community groups, from being named as sub-contractors under the scheme. Pobal have advised that their contract with suppliers allows suppliers to sub-contract at their discretion providing that the prescribed quality standards are met, the full requirements of the published tender and the suppliers response are adhered to, any additional conditions as set out in the published tender are also adhered to and subject to formal request from the supplier and final approval from Pobal.


Carol Nolan_Sinn Fein

Deputy Carol Nolan

Sinn Féin

10 October 2017

Seniors Alert Scheme

 

647. Deputy Carol Nolan Information on Carol Nolan Zoom on Carol Nolan asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development Information on Michael Ring Zoom on Michael Ring the funding allocation for the senior alert scheme over each of the past ten years; the number of beneficiaries of the scheme per year, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42350/17]

 

Minister for Rural and Community Development (Deputy Michael Ring): Information on Michael Ring Zoom on Michael Ring My Department is responsible for the Seniors Alert Scheme, which encourages support for vulnerable older people in our communities through the provision of personal monitored alarms to enable them to continue to live securely in their homes with confidence, independence and peace of mind. Funding is available under the scheme towards the purchase by a registered community-based organisation of equipment i.e. a personal alarm and/or pendant, which is provided to the elderly person participating, while the associated monitoring and service charges are the responsibility of the individual participant.

The scheme commenced in 2010, replacing the Scheme of Community Support for Older People. The allocations provided from 2010 to 2017 and number of beneficiaries in each of these years are outlined in the following table.

The scheme is administered on my Department’s behalf by Pobal. Following a recent review of the scheme, a new version of the Seniors Alert Scheme will be launched shortly.

. Allocation €000s Beneficiaries
2010 1,948 6,306
2011 2,436 7,910
2012 2,524 9,142
2013 2,321 10,597
2014 1,706 7,120
2015 1,539 6,705
2016 1,800 7,301
2017 2,300 4,558

Sean Fleming Fianna Fail

Deputy Seán Fleming

Fianna Fáil

28 September 2017

 

258. Deputy Sean Fleming Information on Seán Fleming Zoom on Seán Fleming asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development Information on Michael Ring Zoom on Michael Ring the position regarding the changing of contracts for the installation of personal monitored alarms; the rationale behind expected changes regarding same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41068/17]

 

Minister for Rural and Community Development (Deputy Michael Ring): The Seniors Alert Scheme is administered by local community and voluntary groups with the support of my Department and Pobal. The scheme encourages community support for vulnerable older people in our communities by providing grant assistance towards the purchase and installation of personal monitored alarms to enable older persons, of limited means, to continue to live securely in their homes with confidence, independence and peace of mind. Funding is available under the scheme towards the purchase of equipment i.e. personal alarm and/or pendant by a registered organisation.

 

In 2016, with my Department’s agreement, Pobal commissioned a general review of the scheme to identify potential improvements, including technological advances. Following the review, a new scheme was designed and tenders were invited from potential suppliers. I understand this process has almost concluded and I intend to be in a position to announce a new and improved iteration of the scheme shortly.


Peadar Toibin_Sein Fein

Deputy Peadar Tóibín

Sinn Féin

11 September 2017

Topic: Seniors Alert Scheme

 

 

1703. Deputy Peadar Tóibín Information on Peadar Tóibín Zoom on Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development Information on Michael Ring Zoom on Michael Ring the allocation to the senior alert scheme each year since it was established. [38448/17]

 

Minister for Rural and Community Development (Deputy Michael Ring): Information on Michael Ring Zoom on Michael Ring The objective of the Seniors Alert Scheme is to encourage support for vulnerable older people in our communities through the provision of personal monitored alarms to enable them to continue to live securely in their homes with confidence, independence and peace of mind.   Funding is available under the Scheme towards the purchase by a registered community-based organisation of equipment, i.e. a personal alarm and/or pendant, which is provided to the elderly person participating, while the associated monitoring and service charges are the responsibility of the individual participant.

 

The Scheme commenced in 2010, replacing Scheme of Community Support for Older People. The funding provided each year from 2010 to 2016 and allocated in 2017 is outlined in the table.

Year Amount €’000s
2010 1,948
2011 2,436
2012 2,524
2013 2,321
2014 1,706
2015 1,539
2016 1,800
2017 2,300

 


Dáil Éireann debate –
Wednesday, 13 Jun 2012

Security of the Elderly (Original link here)

Niall Collins

Question:

153 Deputy Niall Collins asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if he will outline, in tabular form, the budget for the senior alert scheme from 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and to date 2012; his plans for the scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28548/12]

Niall Collins

Question:

154 Deputy Niall Collins asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if he will outline, in tabular form, the number of persons who have directly benefitted from the senior alert scheme from 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and to date 2012. [28549/12]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 153 and 154 together.

My Department manages the Seniors Alert Scheme which encourages and assists the community’s support for older people by means of a community-based grant scheme to improve the security of people over 65 years of age. The Scheme is administered by local community and voluntary groups with the support of my Department.

The following table outlines the budget and the beneficiaries from 2007 to 2012 (to date):

Year

Budget

Beneficiaries

2007

€3.0m

10,764

2008

€3.059

11,762

2009

€3.5m

6,523

2010

€3.10m

6,306

2011

€2.35m

7,910

2012

€2.35m

4,989 (to date)

Due to a sharp increase in demand for grant assistance under the Seniors Alert Scheme in 2011, the budget allocation of €2.35m was expended by the end of November 2011; accordingly, grant applications received in December 2011 were held pending finalisation of the budget allocation for 2012. A significant portion of the 2012 budget allocation (€2.35m) was expended early in 2012 as a result. The registration of additional Community and Voluntary groups who wish to administer the Scheme is also increasing applications for funding in 2012.

My Department has examined the operation of the scheme with the aim of ensuring its sustainability and an equitable distribution of funding country-wide. The following temporary changes were notified to groups on 26 March 2012, and took effect from 30 March 2012:

Funding will only be available for the purchase and installation of socially monitored alarms at a maximum of €250 per alarm (Maximum funding of €50 is also available for additional pendants and reinstallations).

Grants to Community and Voluntary groups will be capped at €30,000 per annum.

The aim of the Seniors Alert Scheme is to support independent living for those over 65 who live alone or who live with a person who is also over 65 years of age and of limited financial means. A key element of the Scheme is the provision of funding for a socially monitored alarm which supports this independence. Having regard to available funding in the current economic climate, the changes above will ensure that my Department can continue to maintain the Scheme in a viable way and provide the maximum number of socially monitored alarms to as many older persons as possible in 2012.

 

 

 


Transfer of Seniors Alert Scheme to Pobal (2014/2015 Questions)

 

Following the 2014 announcement that the Seniors Alert Scheme (SAS) would be transferred to Pobal from the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government, political parties from across the board, tabled questions about the implications of the SAS transfer. The questions are below. Original questions are published on the Dáil Éireann website.

 

POLITICAL PARTY

 

DATE DETAILS OF DEPUTY/PARLIAMENTARY QUESTION

 

 

Fianna Fáil 6 Oct 2015 Deputy Michael McGrath   asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government   his plans to change the manner in which the seniors alert scheme is delivered, in particular if local community alert groups will still be involved; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34165/15]

 

 

Independent  16 June 2015

 

Deputy Michael Healy-Rae    asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government   his views on a matter (details supplied) regarding the senior alert scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23757/15]

 

 

Fine Gael  29 April 2015

 

Deputy Michael Creed   asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government   further to Parliamentary Question No. 644 of 21 April 2015 and previous related parliamentary questions, wherein he confirms that community and voluntary groups and An Garda Síochána contributed to the review in 2010 of the community support for older people which was the forerunner to the seniors alert scheme, if he will confirm that no consultations have taken place with community and voluntary groups or An Garda Síochána regarding the changes proposed to the seniors alert scheme by this review; if he will consider, even at this late stage, consulting with those organisations that participated in the 2010 review and who participated in the drafting of the terms of reference for that review, regarding the changes that are now under way; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16974/15]

 

 

Labour Party 28 April 2015

 

Deputy Michael McCarthy   asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government   if he is aware of the consequences that the Pobal senior alert proposal will have on volunteer groups; the rationale for dividing the country into ten regions, in the context of the tendering for the revised arrangements under the senior alert scheme; the reason an individual supplier is limited to delivering a service in three regions; the cost implications of this approach for the more isolated rural regions in respect of monitoring fees; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16455/15]

 

 

Fine Gael  21 April 2015

 

Deputy Michael Creed   asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government   further to Parliamentary Questions Nos. 176, 178, 179, 180 and 182 of 1 April 2015 in which he stated that his Department undertook to consider new approaches to the senior alert scheme in 2014, decided that the scheme would be managed by Pobal and, in view of the fact that the market for the equipment was well established, decided it was neither necessary nor appropriate to engage in consultations with the market, prior to the tender process, if he will address the broader issue of consultation held in respect of these proposed changes to the senior alert scheme in 2014, rather than the specific issues of Pobal’s role or the consultations held on the tendering process; if community or voluntary groups were consulted on the new approaches originally considered in 2014; if An Garda Síochána was consulted regarding them; the feedback received from these organisations regarding the original proposed changes to the scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15610/15]

 

Deputy Michael Creed   asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government   the level of consultation that took place in respect of the proposed changes to the senior alert  scheme; if he will provide in detail the number of community groups and voluntary organisations that were consulted; if An Garda Síochána was consulted; if he will confirm the views of the organisations consulted with in respect of the proposed changes; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13516/15]

 

Deputy Michael Creed   asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government   if he will confirm that the tender documents for the revised senior alert scheme will not lead to a lower standard of equipment than used under the previous regime; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13518/15]

 

Deputy Michael Creed   asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government   the number of community groups currently registered with his Department in the context of the senior alert scheme that have re-applied as local agents for the revised scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13527/15]

 

Deputy Michael Creed   asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government   the rationale for dividing the country into ten regions in the context of the tendering for the revised arrangements under the senior alert scheme; the reason an individual supplier is limited to delivering a service in three regions; the cost implications of this approach for the more isolated rural regions in respect of monitoring fees; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13537/15]

 

 

Sinn Féin 11 Mar 2015

 

Deputy Sandra McLellan   asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government   in respect of the new proposals for the senior alert scheme, if there will be an increase in the fee charged to monitor the alarm unit per annum; if there is a risk of participants receiving sub-European Union standard equipment; if elderly persons will continue to receive prompt responses from the new provider; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10703/15]

 

 

Fianna Fáil 10 Mar 2015

 

Deputy Billy Kelleher   asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform   if he will reconsider the transfer of the senior alert scheme to Pobal, as there have been a number of issues raised (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10357/15]

 

 

Independent  10 Mar 2015

 

Deputy Michael Healy-Rae   asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government   his views on a matter (details supplied) regarding the transfer of the administration of the seniors alert scheme to Pobal; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [10479/15]

 

 

Fine Gael 10 Mar 2015

 

Deputy Brendan Griffin   asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government   further to Parliamentary Question No. 572 of 3 February 2015, if the increased expenditure will allow the monitoring fee to be reduced per year; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10535/15]

 

 

Fianna Fáil 10 Mar 2015

 

Deputy Billy Kelleher   asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform   if he will reconsider the transfer of the senior alert scheme to Pobal, as there have been a number of issues raised (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10357/15]

 

 

Fianna Fáil 5 Mar 2015 Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív   asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government   if day-to-day responsibility for the seniors alert scheme has or is to be transferred to Pobal; the reason for this move; the extra cost of administration that this will entail; if the various groups around the country that administer this scheme locally were consulted; the reason for the national tendering for panels of suppliers rather than the existing arrangements; if new groups are being accepted into the scheme at present; and if not, the reason; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9745/15]

 

 

Labour Party
4 Mar 2015

 

Deputy Brendan Ryan:   Some times when a Topical Issue matter is put down, it may not be clear what is being requested. In this instance we are looking for further and urgent consultation between the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government, community groups and Muintir na Tíre on the seniors alert scheme. I am raising this matter on foot of serious concerns and reservations I have received from local communities regarding the move to transfer the administration of the scheme to Pobal. The scheme, as it stands, is for the supply, delivery, installation and warranty of telecare equipment related to elderly and vulnerable people, equipment such as personal alarms and so-called panic buttons. The majority of the community organisations registered with the senior alerts scheme are community councils, community alert groups and neighbourhood watch groups. They have played a major role in caring for the elderly members of their communities. The transfer of the seniors alert scheme from the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government to Pobal has caused much concern among the voluntary community which administers the scheme on the ground, however. Muintir na Tíre has also expressed concerns, centring on the lack of proper engagement with the current service providers and stakeholders prior to the announcement of the tender.

 

Deputy Brendan Ryan: I have received contact from community groups all over the county, and they have each told a similar story. This tender was announced without any consultation and its terms cast into real doubt the continued excellent level of service provided by community groups and service providers. I and my colleagues are asking that this process be put on hold in order to allow for proper in-depth engagement with community groups and service providers.

 

Deputy Brendan Ryan:   We need to protect these people and ensure that the quality of service and after care for the telecare systems are not compromised.

 

Deputy Brendan Ryan:   Other Deputies such as Deputy Michael Moynihan of Fianna Fáil, Deputy Tony McLoughlin of Fine Gael and also Deputy Michael Creed have received similar communications and share our concerns. This is a genuine cross-party call to the Department and to the Minister of State. We all share the concerns of the community groups that are dealing with this on the ground. They are the experts and they feel they have not been consulted properly. Efforts need to be made to facilitate real consultation on this matter in order, perhaps, to amend the terms of the tender to protect what is good and what works in the current scheme.

 

The big question is, what is the objective of the change? What is it supposed to achieve? The scheme works well as it is and the customers are very happy. What problem is the Department trying to solve? It is not clear. I ask the Minister of State to respond positively to this genuine cross-party request to consult with all stakeholders before bringing the current tendering process to a conclusion. It is important to listen and respond to the concerns of the customers of the scheme and the community groups that have played such an important role in making it a success.

 

 

Sinn Féin

 

4 Mar 2015

 

Deputy Dessie Ellis:   There is serious concern about the present plan to transfer the security alert scheme to Pobal. This scheme, by all accounts administered in an efficient and cost-efficient way through community and voluntary groups since 1996, has stood the test of time. There are hundreds of community and voluntary groups registered under it. There are approximately seven or eight companies as well as around 15 to 20 alarm companies involved. One company has 30,000 connections across the country. The new tendering process envisaged would limit this company and others to tendering for three areas out of the ten that Pobal has identified. This would inevitably lead to job losses in areas of maintenance, repairs, monitoring and supply. There is a huge risk that prices will increase and standards will fall. With over 150,000 customers, Pobal will be denying existing companies their ability to tender in a fair and equitable way, with no guarantee they would even win one of them. Relationships have also been built up with elderly people and other groups. What consultations took place? Were existing businesses, community groups, suppliers and, most importantly, the consumers consulted? Is this another cost-cutting exercise? If so, lives could be put at risk if standards fall. Pobal has no experience in this area. Standards in alarms and what they do vary. Some are quite sophisticated, monitoring movement, smoke levels, carbon monoxide, medicine reminders, fall detections, and bed occupancy. We need to place a hold on this and consult further because I do not believe this is in the interests of the people. Any person or group I have spoken to has said that the system has worked well. Why do we need to do this?

 

Deputy Dessie Ellis:   I reiterate Deputy Ryan’s point that this is an all-party request. We have received representations across the board from various people, including the people who avail of the service. Is the Minister of State aware that the companies currently engaged in this have collectively paid back more in VAT than the €2.3 million allocated to the scheme? The Minister of State has said this would promote more SME participation. What about the existing SMEs and the jobs and services they provide?

 

Deputy Dessie Ellis:  The Minister of State said it was not a cost-cutting exercise. There will be ten regional lots but if one can only tender for three and if one has 30,000 customers spread across the country, then one is limited and jobs will be lost. It will have a very serious impact. The Minister of State did not answer the question properly in terms of engagement with the different bodies, customers and suppliers. She said that in some cases it was not necessary. I do not accept that and believe they should have been consulted.

 

 

Fianna Fáil  12 Feb 2015

 

Deputy Michael Moynihan   asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government   if his attention has been drawn to the serious concerns held by volunteers in local community groups regarding the proposed changes to the seniors alert scheme, in particular regarding the lack of consultation with those groups who have been administering this scheme, with such great effect up to now; his views on delaying the implementation to allow for more conclusive discussion regarding these changes with the grassroots volunteers; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6480/15]

 

 

Fine Gael 11 Feb 2015

 

Deputy Tony McLoughlin   asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government   regarding the proposed changes of the senior alert scheme, if consultation with any community groups and stakeholder has taken place; if there are plans to do so; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6198/15]

 

 

Fine Gael  27 Jan 2015
Deputy Patrick O’Donovan   asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government   if he will provide details of the engagement that has taken place between his Department and the community alert organisation in respect of proposed changes to the seniors alert scheme; his plans to bring forward changes to the scheme; if he will provide details of same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3575/15]

 

 

Labour Party 14 Jan 2015

 

Deputy Michael McCarthy   asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government   his views on correspondence (details supplied) regarding the seniors alert scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49490/14]

 

 

Labour Party 14 Jan 2015

 

Deputy Ciarán Lynch   asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government   the changes to the seniors alert scheme that are proposed; his views on whether sufficient consultation has been undertaken with interested parties; his further views on the points raised in a document (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1107/15]

 

 

Fine Gael 14 Jan 2015

 

Deputy Jerry Buttimer    asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government   in view of the change in management of the senior alert scheme, if he will provide details of all consultations with stakeholders held by officials in his Department prior to transferring management of the scheme to Pobal; if under newly tendered contracts the minimum standard required will be the existing EU standard; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1513/15]

 

 

Fianna Fáil 2 Dec 2014

 

Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív   asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government   the reason for the change in the tendering system for the seniors alert grant scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45857/14]

 

 

Fianna Fáil  2 Dec 2014

 

Deputy Michael Moynihan    asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government   to outline his proposed changes to the seniors alert scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46047/14]

asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government   to outline the discussions he has had with Pobal and the companies current supplying the seniors alert scheme with regard to proposed changes to the system; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46048/14]

asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government   if he has conducted a cost benefit analysis of the proposed changes to the seniors alert scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46049/14]

 

Fine Gael  11 Nov 2014

 

Deputy Michael Creed   asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government   if his attention has been drawn to the proposal by his Department to involve Pobal in the operation of the senior alert scheme; the consultations that have taken place with local community and voluntary groups involved in the care of the elderly regarding this change of practice; the way this new approach will enable local voluntary groups to ensure more regular engagement with the elderly; the implications for the existing approximately 150,000 social alarms in operation and the responsibility for maintenance of these items; if his attention has been drawn to the significantly higher monitoring charges levied in other neighbouring jurisdictions and the consequences of a successful tender exiting the Irish market; if, in view of all of these issues, he will engage in the process of extensive consultation with the voluntary groups involved before Pobal is enabled to proceed with these significant changes; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [43279/14]

 

 

Fianna Fáil 21 Oct  2014
Deputy Sean Fleming   asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government   his plans to tender for the seniors alert scheme and the parameters being considered as part of this tender as to whether it will be for a three-year or five-year period; if it will be one national tender or if it will be done on a regional basis; the requirement to deal with persons who already have alarms fitted under the existing scheme; if they will be included; if this will be open to all organisations to apply even if they are commercial organisations or organisations with a revenue charity reference number; if a regulatory impact assessment has been carried out on this process; the reason Pobal was selected to carry out this process; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40192/14]

 

 

Labour Party 23 Sept 2014 Deputy Eric Byrne   asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government   his views on correspondence, details supplied, in relation to the seniors alert scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35811/14]

 

 

Labour Party 17 Sept 2014 Deputy Michael McCarthy   asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government   if he will provide assurances that funding will be maintained for the senior alerts scheme (details supplied); and his views on extending the scheme to include assistive technology devices (details supplied). [33458/14]

 

 

 

 


Community Supports for Older People (CSOP) | Previous version of Seniors Alert Scheme (Pre-2010 Questions/Responses)

 

Security of the Elderly.

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Questions (462, 463, 464, 465, 466)

Brendan Howlin

Question:

517 Deputy Brendan Howlin asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs if he will review the retrograde decision to end the grant scheme under which home security devices are provided for older people; his views on the fact that the relatively small saving from the scrappage of this scheme is expected to be exceeded by the cost of additional medical treatment, nursing home care and garda activity arising from the effects on older people’s vulnerability in their homes resulting from the non-availability of publicly funded home security devices; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15442/09]

View answer

Michael D. Higgins

Question:

527 Deputy Michael D. Higgins asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs if he will reconsider the decision to suspend the community supports for older people programme; the reason this decision was taken in the first instance; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15430/09]

View answer

Billy Timmins

Question:

529 Deputy Billy Timmins asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs the position in relation to the suspension of the community support for older people grant; if, in view of the circumstances involved, this decision will be reversed and funding made available; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15601/09]

View answer

Mary Upton

Question:

531 Deputy Mary Upton asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs if he will review the decision to suspend the grant in respect of community support to older people which provided for pendant alarms, security lights and so on; his views on the impact of the decision to suspend this grant; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15804/09]

View answer

Fergus O’Dowd

Question:

532 Deputy Fergus O’Dowd asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs his views on representations from a group (details supplied) in County Louth; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15979/09]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 517, 527, 529, 531 and 532 together.

The scheme of community support for older people was suspended on 7 April. This was done with a view to affording my Department an opportunity to review its operation over the next few months and relaunch it later in the year. Yesterday, I met representatives of organisations involved with issues affecting older people. I agreed with them a process that will set the broad parameters for the review and for the necessary consultation to be undertaken as part of it. I am hopeful that the review process can begin in May and be completed by mid-September. I would like to reassure the Deputies that all applications received up to the suspension of the scheme will be processed and approved, as appropriate, in line with the current eligibility criteria. In addition, it is important to note that the suspension of the scheme in no way affects those who already have received a monitored alarm device.


Security of the Elderly.

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday – 6 October 2009

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Questions (697, 698, 699, 700, 701, 702)

Richard Bruton

Question:

792 Deputy Richard Bruton asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs if, in view of the high risk to older people living alone, he has reconsidered the interruption to the elderly reassurance community scheme formerly operated by him in conjunction with voluntary groups. [33116/09]

View answer

Mary Upton

Question:

793 Deputy Mary Upton asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs if he will ensure that funding is released for the community support for older people scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33119/09]

View answer

Róisín Shortall

Question:

797 Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs the position regarding the suspension of the scheme of community support for older people; if his Department officials have concluded their review of the scheme’s operation, which began in May 2009; if a report will be made available outlining his Department’s findings; and when the scheme is expected to recommence. [33300/09]

View answer

Joanna Tuffy

Question:

803 Deputy Joanna Tuffy asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs when he expects to re-establish the scheme of community support for older people; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33669/09]

View answer

Olivia Mitchell

Question:

809 Deputy Olivia Mitchell asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs if there are plans to re-introduce the personal alarm security pendants for older persons; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33750/09]

View answer

Jan O’Sullivan

Question:

820 Deputy Jan O’Sullivan asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs when he expects that the personal alarm scheme will be re-introduced; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34457/09]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 792, 793, 797, 803, 809 and 820 together.

I refer the Deputies to my answer to Questions Nos. 125, 161 and 165 from earlier today.

 

 


Community Support for Older People.

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday, 24 February 2004 (Link to original)

Ceisteanna (413, 414, 415)

515 Mr. S. Ryan asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs if he has satisfied himself with the operation of the scheme of community supports for older people with reference to the service being provided to the elderly; the details of the tendering process; if he is getting value for money; if his attention has been drawn to the fact that it is alleged that at least one commercial group is using community based organisations as a cover to break the guidelines of the scheme with a view to becoming the dominant supplier or installer for the scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6144/04]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs)

The purpose of the scheme of community support for older people is to provide funding for initiatives to improve the security of vulnerable older people.

The scheme is advertised annually in the national and provincial papers. Applications are invited from locally based organisations to apply on behalf of the older people, that is, people aged 65 and over, in their area. The applications are received and assessed by my Department. Once the group has satisfied all criteria under the scheme, the group is approved up to 90% of the cost of their application.

The local group applying under the scheme has responsibility for the purchase and installation of the security equipment. My Department has no involvement in this aspect of the funding.

It is a matter for the local groups to seek quotes from various suppliers and to choose the security equipment that they consider best value. I do not consider that it would be appropriate for my Department to choose or promote one supplier over another.

My Department is currently undertaking a review of the rules and guidelines of the scheme, prior to re-advertising it in May. The concerns expressed by the Deputy will be taken into account in the review process.

516 Mr. S. Ryan asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs the list of the groups, including addresses and number of persons who applied for approval under the 2003 CSOP scheme and who were unsuccessful. [6145/04]

Amharc ar fhreagra

 

I have attached a list of groups who were unsuccessful in their application under the 2003 scheme of community support for older people, for the Deputy’s information.

Ref No.

Group Name

Address

Approx. No. who applied through the group

13

Knockanore Glendine Kilwatermoy Community Council

The Lodge, Moore Hill, Tallow, Co Waterford

15

15

Knockbridge Community Alert

Ballinlough, Knockbridge, Dundalk, Co Louth

12

47

Skerries 65 Club

44 St Patricks Close, Skerries, Co Dublin

20

49

Security of the Elderly

6 Mary’s Lane, Dublin 7

982

50

Security of the Elderly Bishopstown

20 Bishopscourt Rd., Wilton, Co Carlow

35

64

Killarney TASC Alarms

69 Pinewood Estate, Park Road, Killarney, Co Kerry

10

69

Lobinstown Muintir Na Tire

Lobinstown, Navan, Co Meath

2

73

Killala Community Council

c/o Killala Community Centre, Ballina Road, Killala, Co Mayo

3

87

Glenfin Care Of The Aged Committee

Cloghan Beg, Cloghan, Co Donegal

**

95

Belturbet Neighbourhood Watch

Sugarloaf, Belturbet, Co Cavan

13

116

Ennis RAPID Community Assembly

c/o 7 Quin Road Business Park, Ennis, Co Clare

20

136

Kilmallock Community Alert

Bracken Lodge, Gotoon, Kilmallock, Co Limerick

99

140

Saula Community Alert

Saula, Achill, Co Mayo

22

152

Abbeyleix Community Alert

Ballytarsna, Abbeyleix, Co Laois

82

158

Fahy — Quansboro Community Alert

Deerpark, Ballycrissane, Ballinasloe, Co Galway

27

162

Leenane Day Care Centre

Leenane Community Hall, Leenane, Co Galway

10

177

Community Alert Aghada

Woodview, Cloyne, Co Cork

**

178

Frenchpark Community Alert

Frenchpark, Co Roscommon

14

192

Irish Wheelchair Association

Springfield Centre, Devlin Road, Mullingar, Co Westmeath

1

205

Newcastle Community Alert

Newcastle, Clonmel, Co Tipperary

2

210

RESPOND! Housing Association

Airmount, Dominic’s Place, Waterford, Co Waterford

2

216

Killusty Community Alert

Killusty, Fethard, Co Tipperary

5

218

Forthill Aid for Elderly

6 St Michael’s Terrace, Sligo, Co Sligo

37

224

Killanny Community Alert

Stradeen, Carrickmacross, Co Monaghan

20

234

Harbour Area Neighbourhood Watch

26 Kirwan Park, Mountmellick, Co Laois

20

247

St Munchin’s Family Resource Centre

26 Clonconnane Road, Ballynanty, Limerick, Co Limerick

16

248

Crossroads and Killygordon Enterprise Limited

Old Creamery Office, Crossroads, Killygordon, Co Donegal

6

269

Stradbally Concern Group

Stradbally, Co Laois

33

274

St John’s Caring Centre

Hacketstown, Co Carlow

**

275

Geesala Community Alert

Geesala, Ballina, Co Mayo

3

284

Drogheda Senior Citizens Interest Group

Unit 3, Mayoralty Street, Drogheda, Co Louth

60

288

The Thursday Club

c/o Mary Hanley, Corcamore, Clarina, Co Limerick

8

289

Crossabeg Community Alert

Crossabeg, Co Wexford

14

297

Ballybricken Community Alert Group

Rochestown House, Grange, Kilmallock, Co Limerick

3

301

Senior Citizens Concern Limited

St Louis Day Care Centre, Ramsgrange, New Ross, Co Wexford

**

302

Castlemartyr/Mogeely Community Alert

Killeagh Road, Castlemartyr, Co Cork

6

331

Mealagh Valley Community Alert Group

Melagh Valley, Dronclough East, Bantry, Co Cork

2

335

Killoran Community Alert

Killoran, Ballinasloe, Co. Galway

14

337

Faugheen Ahenny Community Alert

Faugheen, Carrick-on-Suir, Co Tipperary

1

347

Portlaw Neighbourhood Watch

Community Hall, Portlaw, Co Waterford

1

352

Killygoan Residence Association

7 Highfield Close, Killygoan, Co Monaghan

6

361

Ballymacerbey Community Alert

Ballymacerbery, Clonmel, Co Waterford

60

366

Monasterboice Forum

Parochial House, Tenure, Dunleer, Co Louth

500

367

Bellacorrick Community Alert

Coolturk, Crossmolina, Co Mayo

6

378

Cabragh/Ballycurrane Community Alert

c/o Ballycurrane, Thurles, Co Tipperary

2

387

Ballysaggart Community Alert

Ballysaggart, Lismore, Co Waterford

10

389

Upperchurch/Drombane & DDA

UpperchurchCommunity Centre, Upperchurch, Thurles, Co Tipperary

8

391

Society of St Vincent de Paul St Joseph’s Housing Conference

29 Bridge St., Cavan, Co Cavan

8

392

Mohill Neighbourhood Watch

Drumboy, Mohill, Co Leitrim

10

397

Avondale Residents

Avondale, Kilrush road, Ennis, Co Clare

1

400

Killucan Golden Years Ltd

Rathwire Hall, Killucan, Co Westmeath

86

401

Binghamstown Community Alert

Binghamstown, Belmullet, Co Mayo

8

409

Actively Retired Social Club (South/East Clare)

Parish Hall, Broadford, Co Clare

40

416

Roscommon Town Active Age

Brookvale Avenue, Roscommon, Co Roscommon

5

422

Kilmurry/Lackaraigh

Killcrest, Ballymicheal, Lissarda, Co Cork

12

427

Friends of Assisi House Day Centre

Airmount, Dominick Place, Waterford, Co Waterford

65

428

Kiltullagh/Killimordal Community Alert

Kiltullagh, Athenry, Co Galway

9

430

Grange Community Alert

Rochestown, Cahir, Co Tipperary

20

431

Barrack St Garda Station

Barrack St., Co Cork

20

438

National Council for the Blind of Ireland (Kildare Branch)

13 Whitethorn Grove, Kill, Co Kildare

40

449

Tullamore Social Services

Tullamore Social Services Ltd., Offaly Street, Tullamore, Co Offaly

70

459

Glenflesk Community Alert

Killaha, Glenflesk, Killarney, Co Kerry

1

461

Friends of Assisi House

10 Williamstown Village, Waterford, Co Waterford

10

463

Kells Active Retirement Group

Edmund Rice Centre, Bective Street, Kells, Co Meath

**

**Details of approx. no. of applicants not provided to Department in certain cases.

517 Mr. S. Ryan asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs if he will report on the status of the application submit from Glasnevin North Active Retirement Association for approval under the 2003 CSOP scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6146/04]

Amharc ar fhreagra

 

My Department has no record of an application by the group mentioned in the Deputy’s question under the 2003 scheme of community support for older people. If the Deputy provides an address for this group I will arrange for application forms and further information to be sent as soon as such material is available.


Dáil Éireann debate –
Wednesday, 21 Oct 1998

Written Answers. – Security of the Elderly

Question:

146 Dr. Upton asked the Minister for Social, Community and Family Affairs the number of applications his Department received in 1997 for the security scheme for the elderly; the number of applications granted; the amount of resources allocated to this scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20795/98]

Question:

147 Dr. Upton asked the Minister for Social, Community and Family Affairs the number of applications his Department has received in 1998 for the security scheme for the elderly; the amount of resources allocated for 1998; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20796/98]

It is proposed to take Questions Nos. 146 and 147 together.

As the Deputy is aware 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 to voluntary groups who have undertaken to identify those elderly people in need of assistance under the scheme.

The maximum grant available under the scheme is 90 per cent of the cost and grants are provided only towards the once-off cost of the purchase and/or installation of the necessary equipment. The actual amount of the grant varies in the light of individual circumstances and needs and the overall demands which must be met.

A sum of £2 million was made available to the scheme in 1996, and some 15,000 individuals were assisted that year.

In 1997 an initial allocation of £2 million was again made to the scheme. However, on coming into office, in fulfilment of our commitment to look after vulnerable people in our community, I sought and received approval from Government to allocate an additional £3 million to the scheme. Approximately 860 applications were received under the 1997 scheme. A total of 839 grants amounting to £4,824,159 were paid out under the 1997 scheme providing assistance to over 21,000 people.
A sum of £2 million was again allocated to the scheme in the 1998 Estimates. As I have already announced, I have yet again, for the second year in a row, obtained Government approval for the allocation of an additional £3 million to the scheme in 1998 bringing the total allocation to £10 million for the last two years.
A total sum of £5 million has therefore been allocated to the scheme for 1998 and a total of 940 applications have been received. These applications are currently being considered in the regional offices of my Department. My Department expects to be in a position soon to advise groups of the decision regarding their applications.
The additional allocations over the last two years since this Government came into office represent a significant increase in the level of support for this scheme and will provide the necessary resources to meet the volume of worthwhile applications received.