“Minister must urgently expand support for Senior Alert Scheme Pendant Alarms,” Mattie McGrath
Independent TD Mattie McGrath has written to the Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar to urge him to expand the provision of Pendant Alarms to the elderly, particularly those in rural Ireland. Deputy McGrath was speaking as investigations continue into the savage attack and robbery of an elderly couple in Roscrea:
“The events this week have once again highlighted the brutal and unpredictable threats that the elderly are being exposed too.
We should not forget however that it was the Fine Gael/Labour government of 2013 that introduced savage cuts to a host of support services for the elderly including the free landline service
That move directly affected the safety and well-being of many thousands of elderly people who had come to rely on the free landline phone use as an essential element of their pendant alarm system which can be used if they are in danger or have had an accident in the home.
The removal of the free phone followed an already existing cut by Fine Gael and Labour to the Seniors Alert Scheme.
The pendant alarm scheme is community-based and designed to enable older people to continue to live securely in their home with confidence, independence and peace of mind.
Many organisations that represent the views of the elderly in Ireland and who are doing amazing volunteer work have consistently called for the Pendant alarms Scheme to be expanded and I fully support that call.
Fine Gael has already put its hands into the already half empty pockets of the elderly and it is about time that they gave something back.
Increasing a sense of personal security for the elderly and their families would certainly be a step in the right direction,” concluded Deputy McGrath.