Groups welcome alarms U-turn


Groups representing the elderly, people with disabilities and carers have welcomed the Government’s decision to reverse the cut in grants for personal security alarms.

Age Action spokesman Eamon Timmins said the move would mean older people who needed the alarms could continue to live independently in their homes. “We are glad that common sense has prevailed.”

Had the cut to the Senior Alert scheme gone through, new applicants aged over 65 who were not living alone would no longer have qualified for the alarms, which are worn around the neck or wrist and connect to a call centre.

“The grant should never have been targeted in the first place,” spokeswoman for the Carers Association Catherine Cox said.

The decision to reverse the cut follows consultations in Kilkenny on Saturday between Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan and Muintir na Tíre, the community association which provides half of the alarms under the scheme.