Dáil Éireann - Volume 502 - 23 March, 1999
Written Answers. - Security of the Elderly.
Ms McManus Ms McManus
457. Ms McManus asked the Minister for Social, Community and Family Affairs the status of the security scheme for the elderly in view of  the continuing need for this scheme; if he will ensure its continuance; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8036/99]
Mr. D. Ahern Mr. D. Ahern
Minister for Social, Community and Family Affairs (Mr. D. Ahern): My Department has, since 1996, operated the scheme of community support for older people, the purpose of which is to provide funding for initiatives to improve the security and social support of vulnerable older people. This funding is provided by way of grant to voluntary groups and organisations such as St. Vincent de Paul, Neighbourhood Watch and Community Alert which have undertaken to identify those elderly people in need of assistance under the scheme.
Under the scheme grants are available for: small scale physical security equipment such as strengthening of doors and windows, window locks, door chains and locks and security lighting; and socially-monitored alarm systems (such as the pendant or panic button alarm system which is operated via the telephone and is worn around the wrist or neck).
In general, grants under the scheme cover from 50 per cent to 90 per cent of the once-off cost of the purchase and/or installation of the necessary security equipment. While the maximum grant available under this scheme is 90 per cent of the total cost, it is not possible to guarantee this level of funding in respect of all applications received under the scheme.
I am anxious to ensure that this scheme addresses the security needs of the most vulnerable people and that it provides this assistance in the most efficient and effective way possible. In this regard, my Department has, in consultation with the Departments of Finance and Health and Children, commissioned an independent review of the scheme which will consider how the scheme is meeting its objectives and whether it is doing so in the most efficient and effective way possible.
The final report from the consultants has been received and is currently being examined in my Department. The future operation of the scheme will be determined in the light of the outcome of this review.
Dáil Éireann 502 Written Answers. Security of the Elderly.