A CONTROVERSIAL CUT in funding for an alert scheme for elderly people has been reversed, following strong criticism.
It was announced last Thursday that the Seniors Alert Scheme, which is run by the Department of the Environment, was subject to a cut in its funding.
The overall reduction in funding for 2013 was more than a million euro, bringing it from €2.45 million to €1.150 million. It has now been reinstated to the original amount.
At the time, the Department of the Environment said that the funding for 2013 was being targeted “at those with the greatest need – elderly people over 65 years of age, without sufficient means, and living alone”.
The cuts had also meant that funding was only available to qualified persons aged over 65 who are living alone. This has also been reversed, meaning that last year’s eligibility criteria now applies.
This means that anyone aged over 65 can apply for the scheme.
Last week, Eamon Timmins of Age Action told TheJournal.ie that the decision was “penny-wise and pound-foolish”, adding that the timing was “terrible” as it came following a spate of attacks on older people.
He said it was frustrating to see such cuts take place, and that it would affect couples or siblings living together who would not have been able to apply for the grant for personal alarms under the new specifications.
Over the last three years, the scheme was funded to the amount of €8.3 million, with 23,686 people benefitting from the grant.