A POTENTIALLY life-saving intervention for the elderly and vulnerable has been launched at City Hall.
More than 50 members of the gardai, medical profession, and various charities were present as Mayor Gerry McLoughlin launched the Message in a Bottle scheme.
Castletroy and District Lions club is pioneering the scheme in Limerick, which provides essential emergency information for the emergency services.
The scheme sees a small plastic bottle, placed in the patient’s fridge.
Inside, there is a form containing the patient’s medical history, in a quick to read format.
Stickers included with the bottle should then be put up on the patient’s fridge, and front door to alert the emergency services to the scheme.
It is hoped hundreds of people from across Limerick will benefit from the programme, which has already been launched in Dublin.
Speaking to the audience - which included representatives of the Carers Association, the Limerick Senior Citizens Club, the Order of Malta and Active Retirement - Mayor McLoughlin said the Lions Club are “showing a great act of Christianity.”
“It is a well thought out idea, and I am sure it is going to serve the people using it very well. It is nice to see the resilience people are showing. Having an item like this available shows great initiative from everyone involved. In these stringent times, we have to be very positive in our outlook. It is the only way to go forward. While we are recovering from the Celtic Tiger, it is up to everyone to put our nose to the wheel and make everyone’s life better,” he said.
Castletroy Lions Club chairperson Rita O’Donoghue praised the support shown by the HSE and the ambulance services.
Joe Smyth, the Lions top man in Ireland, came to Limerick to lend his support to the scheme.
“It is an emergency system, which we hope will save lives. It has been used in a lot of clubs around the country already. The fire brigade has taken it on as one of their projects, and will distribute 6,500 bottles in Dublin over the next few months,” he said.
One of the people attending the launch was Peter Quinn, of the Limerick Senior Citizens Club, which meets every Monday night at the former garda club in the Carey’s Road.
Praising the scheme, he said: “This will be a great help for those who might not have a response system, so with this, and the panic system we have, I think the elderly will be well served.”
The Lions Club is a worldwide organisation, boasting more than one million members globally.
Based in Chicago, it is the world’s largest service club organisation.
Members are involved in a variety of schemes intended to help local communities.
In Limerick, they are responsible for a number of initiatives, including the delivery of spectacles to needy families in Africa.
This intention behind this is to improve their literacy levels, and help them improve their lives.
Tubes for the Message in a Bottle scheme are available free of charge for those in Castletroy, from your local chemist or general practitioner.
The Lions meet on a monthly basis in the Castletroy Park Hotel.
For more information, contact Rita O’Donoghue on 087-2209023, or Kieran Horgan at 087-9099995.