Seniors Alert Scheme to be extended in Donegal


€2.3 million has been allocated by the Department of Rural and Community Development for the renewed Seniors Alert Scheme, coming into effect from November 1st.
Since 2015, 490 senior citizens in Donegal have received a personal alarm with more to qualify this year.
Government Chief Whip Minister Joe McHugh has welcomed the news, he says he is; “delighted to announce that this scheme will be extended to even more people locally thanks to a new range of measures.”
From this year, you no longer have to be living alone in order to qualify for the scheme.
Minister McHugh says; “This measure exists with the support of local voluntary groups and if users feel in danger or require immediate assistance they can activate the device which will alert designated members of their community who can then assist them.”
New elements of the scheme include free monitoring of the alarm service for the first year, after which the person pays a small fee and a boost to administrative payments to community groups involved in rolling out the scheme.
All users have a base unit installed in their home which is connected to a national Seniors Alert Scheme helpline using landline or mobile telecommunications and when the personalised alarm is activated, a call is transferred to the national call centre which is open 24/7.
The operator will speak with the person and will decide whether to alert a local volunteer responder or, in potentially serious circumstances, the emergency services.
The alarm can be worn as a pendant or like a watch.
Another technological development was launched by the Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring, this week to help make rural Ireland a safer, more connected place.
Advanced Mobile Location (AML) works by automatically finding a phone’s GPS co-ordinates when a 112 or 999 number is dialled.
The co-ordinates are immediately passed to the emergency services in responding and dispatching emergency personnel to callers in need across Ireland.
Minister Ring said: “This new technology will have a major impact on people’s lives, particularly in rural areas.
“It will help if someone crashes or witnesses a crash on a remote rural road but does not know their location; or if someone gets lost or hurt while out walking or hiking. It will lead to quicker response times and potentially save lives.
“My Department is working to connect communities and this technology is creating a more connected and safer Ireland.”

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