Pendant Awareness Week – 8th – 15th December.
An Garda Siochana - Muintir na Tire
Community Alert, a rural community crime prevention programme, in partnership with An Garda Siochana, are launching a nationwide campaign to create a greater public awareness of the necessity of vulnerable people to wear their personal alarm pendant at all times. Pendant awareness week runs from 8th to 15th December 2003.
Organising the supply of pendants and other safety/security measures for older people is an integral part of Community Alert and Neighbourhood Watch schemes. The scheme is now funded by the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs.
The press button pendant alarms provide social and emergency contact for the wearers at the touch of a button twenty four hours a day, three hundred and sixty five days a year … but only if the pendant is being worn by the person at the time of the emergency.
The aim of the Community Alert programme is to encourage and support all local voluntary agencies to work together to create caring communities where vulnerable members of society can have a quality of life, free of fear and isolation. Personal pendant alarms play a major role in achieving this aim.
Over the past number of years Community Alert groups in addition to organisations such as Neighbourhood Watch, St. Vincent de Paul, Active Age, Care of the Aged and others, supported by the Scheme of Community Support for Older People have been instrumental in facilitating the provision of personal alarms for many who for one reason or another were deemed vulnerable.
Feedback from volunteers on the ground would indicate that many of the people being supported by the scheme do not wear the pendant at all times This alarming situation has prompted Muintir na Tire and An Garda Siochana to launch this National Awareness Week.
By pressing the button on the pendant, an alarm is sent to the twenty-four hour monitoring station where the details of the wearer are on record. Following assessment of the call within seconds the operator then telephones the previously arranged contacts or the emergency services if deemed necessary.
The wearing of the pendant is vital where a user has fallen and cannot reach the telephone, has locked one self outside the house, hears unusual sounds, is afraid to open the door or just needs reassurance and somebody to talk to.
Muintir na Tire and An Garda Siochana in the run up to the Christmas season are calling on all Community Alert groups to visit the elderly to promote and encourage round-the-clock wearing of pendants.
One day that pendant may save your life – if you are wearing it.
© Copyright 2006 by the author(s)/photographer(s) and www.castlebar.ie
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