Elderly people issued with alarms
Published 25/10/2011 | 16:22
Almost 9,000 elderly people have been issued with personal alarms.
The alarms, which are connected to a response centre, have been issued by Age NI to provide peace of mind to the elderly during the dark nights of winter.
Two elderly women were attacked in their homes at the weekend.
A 94-year-old woman in Newry was held down on her bed while her house was ransacked by burglars. Earlier that evening an 89-year-old woman suffered arm injuries when three men broke into her home in Crumlin, Co Antrim.
SDLP councillor Thomas Burns said the attacks were terrifying elderly citizens.
He said: "I think it is absolutely disgraceful and it puts an awful amount of fear into the elderly. We don't want to hear anything like this happening again, with people being terrorised."
Ron Warwick, general manager of Age NI Enterprises, said: "Our response centre is staffed by professionally-trained operators 24 hours a day, every day of the year.
"The alarm system operates a two-way speech link to enable the person who raised the alarm to talk to an operator within seconds.
"The operator can then contact the chosen key holder - a friend, neighbour or relative - who will visit and offer assistance. If there is no contact available, the emergency services will be contacted."