Grant schemes for older people should be modified to include access to assistive technology according to Fine Gael’s Colm Markey. The Midlands-North-West MEP said that smart home devices can drastically improve everyday life for older people and allow them to live in their homes for longer.
“Assistive technology can have a massive impact on older people, particularly those who live alone. Many different types of devices and robotics are available which can improve mobility, communication and security. Whether it be dealing with memory loss, health monitoring or keeping in touch with family and friends, assistive technology offers older people independence and peace of mind”, he commented.
“Various grant schemes exist to support older people in their homes but they mostly focus on physical modifications or disability aids while the Seniors Alert Scheme only provides funding for a personalised monitored alarm. I believe there is scope either within the SAS or within the other schemes to include assistive technology such as smart home devices.
“Allowing older people to live in their homes for longer has many benefits including continued social engagement within the community, being close to a trusted support network and lower care costs.
“With our population reaching an all-time high, we need to think about how to better support our older people and technology can play a key role in improving their quality of life and allowing them to live independently”, he concluded.