Written answers

Thursday, 7 November 2019

Department of Rural and Community Development

Security of the Elderly

Photo of Éamon Ó CuívÉamon Ó Cuív (Galway West, Fianna Fail)
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199. To ask the Minister for Rural and Community Development the security devices funded by his Department or agencies under his remit for the protection of older persons in their homes; if this can include security cameras; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45911/19]

Photo of Michael RingMichael Ring (Mayo, Fine Gael)
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My Department is responsible for the Seniors Alert Scheme which encourages community support for vulnerable older people in our communities through the provision of personal monitored alarms to enable them 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 a personal alarm or pendant.

Following a review, a new version of the scheme came into effect on 1 November 2017. A number of changes were introduced under the new scheme including the provision of free monitoring for the first year and a revision of the living alone requirements. The new scheme has been an unprecedented success, with a huge increase in applications and installations.

There are no plans to introduce further amendments to the scheme at this point in time. However, the matter will be kept under review. The issue of the installation of security cameras is a matter for my colleague, the Minister for Justice and Equality under his remit of community crime prevention.

My Department also participates on an Implementation Group to drive progress on the actions outlined in the Housing Options for Our Ageing Population Policy Statement, which is led by the Department of Housing Planning and Local Government and the Department of Health. The use and development of assistive technology in housing for older persons is being considered by this Group.

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