What people have said
I am the caregiver for my 21 year old autistic spectrum daughter who also has mild mental delays as well ... it is about time we family caregivers were heard.
Prime Minister, the allowance in the recent budget to pay for family caregivers is a great start, but this needs to be rolled out to spouses/partners and parents of underage children who require care - it's only fair. We all have families, and any of us could be required at some stage to give up work to look after sick, disabled or special needs family members along with the associated financial and emotional stresses. As a society we need to give these people as much support as they need. Please listen to carers.
When I lived in the UK, my husband received a carer's allowance to help me. It also meant he was no longer unemployed. He returned to NZ to find it different here. We have struggled on disability and superannuation. Life is better here, true, and the weather improved my health. We do not wish to be a burden, but have enough to pay the bills and enjoy last years, enjoying as much independence as possible, and no discrimination of my disability. A little help would go a long way. We have seen people chose to drink and drive and end up injured. Then through ACC they get houses altered, and many things to make life easier. Well we did not choose, we had no choice when I developed an incurable disease, so we struggle like many more. A total rethink on disability and how people's lives could be improved is long overdue.
RE PAID CAREWORKERS: Honorable Mr Key. My wonderful father slowly dies with a palsy and he was cared for in a home while he made this last most important journey of all. These carers in a home had such hard lives. Low income and terrible lifting and caring for the most basic of needs. We need to care for them. They look after our loved ones. Pauline Taylor
Let me see if I understand the situation ... from our point of view. The Ministry of Health had no contracted providers in our area who could meet the needs of a C4/5 tetraplegic in his own home, his needs being so high that they "could only be met in a residential facility." This is despite me having been able to meet ALL of his care needs, in his own home. So ... choices? 1. I continue to provide all the care that Peter needs, unpaid, until death do us part, or: 2. Peter leaves the home that he worked hard to pay for and goes into residential care, with no adequate monitoring of the quality of that care. Help me, Mr. Key, to make the right decision.
What can I say? This is the day that the rights of non-ACC disabled died. RIP.
Dear Mr Key, I know you have an awful lot on your mind at the moment, but perhaps one of your staff could grab a dictionary and look up the words "discrimination" and "differently". The new 'Family Carers' policy is still treating people with disabilities who choose a resident family member as their paid caregiver differently. This is discrimination. Leaving spouses and partners who have had to give up paid employment to care for a disabled loved one out of the new policy is also discriminatory. Will you ever learn???
Mr Key, it does not require any new legislation to stop the discrimination against family carers. The "policy" was just that, merely a policy. The Ministry of Health only needs to remove the offending words from its documentation.
Mr Key ... in its argument against paying family carers, the Ministry of Health claims "the policy (of not paying family) ensures that the Ministry keeps control of the services it funds and that publicly funded services meet quality standards and can be monitored”. The only response to that is ... Parklands. And why is your government not properly investigating how the Ministry of Health failed to monitor this facility???
My younger sister was born during a period when National wanted to exert reforms to save a few bucks and my parents have carried the burden of these cuts. She is getting older as are my parents. I have 3 kids and my husband and I both work to support them. When my sister moves into my care I have no idea how we will manage financially. More importantly, my parents before the economic crisis were only ever retiring on one super-fund. My mum has been providing constant care for 30 years. Disability is never a choice. A civilized society should be putting people first. Saving $100 one day may mean a greater cost the next.