Anger over cuts to alarms for elderly
Groups representing older people have protested strongly against Government cutbacks which have seen funding for personal security alarms more than halved.
Government grants for the alarms, intended to assist older people to live independently in greater safety, have dropped from €2.45 million last year to €1.15 million.
The grants allow community groups to provide alarms under the Seniors Alert scheme. An average of 7,900 alarms annually have been supplied in the last three years.
Muintir na Tíre, which has provided up to 50 per cent of the alarms under the scheme, said the €1.3 million cut would mean fewer people would get them.
Peace of mind denied
Age Action Ireland spokesman, Eamon Timmins said the cuts would “make life harder” for older people. “These cuts will undermine the ability of some older people to continue living independently in their own homes, denying them alarms which would provide them with peace of mind,” he said.
The Carers’ Association described the cuts as “yet another example of hitting the most vulnerable in society”.
News of the cuts have emerged in the wake of recent attacks on elderly people, Last Sunday intruders burst into the home of a 90-year-old woman in Listowel demanding money.
A man in his 40s who was questioned about the assault and robbery of a 96-year-old woman in Co Donegal last weekend was released last night and a file sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions.
Greta Lilly was punched in the ribs during the robbery at her home in Buncrana. She managed to call for help by pressing her panic alarm.