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Fingal Community Alert a vital voluntary service in need of greater support – Clifford-lee

Local Fianna Fáil Senator, Lorraine Clifford-lee has said that voluntary led groups such as Fingal Community Alert should be better funded and supported by Government to help elderly people in particular to live safely in their own homes.

The local group work hard to support older people living in the community and receive just €800 a year to assist with the provision of window and door locks, smoke and carbon monoxide alarms and the setup of personal security alarms.

“Small security measures often make all the difference to older people encouraging them to remain in their own homes at the heart of their community for longer,” commented Senator Clifford-Lee.

“As part of a commitment to better support vulnerable citizens, an initiative was launched in 2014 by the Department of Environment to distribute carbon monoxide alarms free to elderly people. Approximately 40 people die from carbon monoxide poisoning each year yet sadly, this initiative has never taken off.

“Older people living in north county Dublin are already having to deal with less garda resources in the community following the closure of Rush garda station and a significant decrease in garda numbers. Furthermore, slashes to the Senior Alert Scheme over the past number of years have left elderly people in our community increasingly isolated.

“Ensuring respect and support for our older people in society just doesn’t seem to form part of this government’s philosophy. Instead, it is left to the voluntary effort of locals to make up for the shortfall while receiving little funding from State.

“I commend the volunteers in the group for their hard work and commitment to local older people. They epitomise the value of good neighbours that work closely to safeguard their area but we must all be aware of the positive contribution we can make in our community.

“Whether it’s dropping into a neighbour living alone, offering help to a local in need or working together to make life a little easier for someone in the area,” concluded Deputy Clifford-Lee.

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