Seniors Alert Scheme
The Seniors Alert Scheme provides grant support for the supply of alarm equipment to enable older people of limited means to continue to live securely in their homes. The scheme is run by Pobal, a not-for-profit organisation that manages programmes on behalf of the Irish Government and the EU. The grant assistance is made available through community, voluntary and not-for-profit organisations that are registered with Pobal.
Who is eligible for grant support?
To be eligible for the Seniors Alert Scheme, you must be:
- Aged 65 or over and have limited means or resources
- Either living alone, living alone for significant periods of time during the day, living with someone who also meets the eligibility criteria, or caring for someone else in your household
- Living in the area covered by the registered group administering the grant support
- Able to benefit from the equipment being supplied and
- Willing to maintain contact with the registered group
What type of equipment can I get?
Grant support is available for the provision and installation of monitored personal alarms, which can be worn as a pendant or around your wrist like a watch. These alarms connect to a national helpline via a base unit installed in your home. When the alarm is activated, it automatically rings the helpline, which is open 24 hours a day all year round. A helpline operator talks to you in your home and decides whether to alert a local volunteer responder or, if necessary, the emergency services.
Equipment supplied under the scheme remains the property of the registered group and must be returned to the group if no longer needed.
How do I get the equipment?
The registered community group for your area makes the application for a grant. When a registered group identifies an older person in its area as needing assistance, it:
- Assesses the person’s eligibility for the scheme and completes the application form with them
- Identifies the equipment required and obtains quotations from suppliers
- Submits the application and supporting documentation to Pobal
You will be asked to confirm that you understand the purpose and use of the equipment and that you will be responsible for the annual monitoring fee after the first year.
All equipment associated with the scheme is installed for free. The alarm monitoring service is free for the first year following installation, after which you will be asked to pay the annual monitoring fee. Charges will vary by service provider and the type of alarm or pendant supplied.
What groups can register for the scheme?
Community, voluntary and not-for-profit organisations wishing to participate can apply to register with Pobal for the scheme. They must have a recognised structure and be able to demonstrate that they are capable of managing the grants. They must also have a record of working with older people in the community. A group will not be able to register where there is an existing group operating the scheme in the area.
How to apply
If you feel you may be eligible for grant support under the Seniors Alert Scheme, you should contact the group registered to operate the scheme in your area. Pobal publishes a list of registered organisations on its website. Alternatively, you can contact Pobal at the address below for details of your local group. Pobal does not accept applications from individuals.
Groups wishing to register for the scheme can register online at pobal.ie.