Dáil Éireann - Volume 576 - 10 December, 2003
Written Answers. - Care of the Elderly.
Mr. O'Shea Mr. O'Shea
259. Mr. O'Shea asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs if he will continue the method of supply of alarm pendants to clients of the multidisciplinary team for the medical assessment unit and care of the elderly at Waterford Regional Hospital (details supplied) as operated under the former Department of Social, Community and Family Affairs; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30244/03]
Mr. N. Ahern Mr. N. Ahern
Minister of State at the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs (Mr. N. Ahern):My Department has responsibility for the administration of the scheme of community support for older people, which provides funding for initiatives to improve the security and social support of vulnerable older people. This funding is provided by way of grant aid to voluntary groups and organisations who have undertaken to identify those elderly people in need of assistance under the scheme.
Under the terms of the scheme, grant aid is available towards the once off costs of purchase and/or installation of small scale physical security equipment, such as strengthening of doors and windows, window locks, door chains and locks, security lighting and socially monitored alarm systems, such as the pendant alarm system which is operated via the telephone and is worn around the neck or wrist. Where socially monitored alarms previous installed under this scheme are broken, a limited amount of funding is available towards the cost of replacement. The grant will vary in the light of individual circumstances and needs and takes account of the overall demands that must be met. In general, grants will cover 90% of the cost. The maximum level of funding available to any one organisation may not exceed €300,000.
The scheme was advertised in both local and national newspapers the week beginning 4 August, with a closing date of 17 September 2003. A sum of €3.4 million has been allocated to the scheme this year.
There is no record of any application received from the organisation mentioned in the Deputy's question. Should the group have any queries about applying under next year's scheme, it should contact the voluntary and community services section of my Department. I intend to advertise the scheme earlier next year, most likely in the first quarter.
Applications for funding under the 2003 scheme are currently under consideration. I hope to announce details of the grants awarded under the scheme shortly.
Dáil Éireann 576 Written Answers. Care of the Elderly.