Caring for carers

Who cares for the carer?

This question was put to me when I was looking after our profoundly disabled son and wrestling with the decision on whether to allow someone else to care for him while I had a break.

Once I’d made the decision and thanks to IHC’s shared care scheme he started spending three days a week with another family, I realised it was best for him and the rest of our family.

We got a rest and were able to do some of the ordinary things which were difficult when he was with us like going for a walk or to the river;  he still got well cared for and other people got to know him and his needs which provided security for him should anything happen which meant I couldn’t look after him.

It is demanding and difficult looking after someone who is ill or disabled but at least I had youth on my side. Often those who look after elderly relatives are older themselves and the strain of caring for their family member puts their own health at risk.

National has recognised this and I’m delighted that health spokesman Tony Ryall has announced the party will put more money into respite care to enable those caring for elderly relatives to have a break.

Respite care will also be available for people living alone who need temporary care because of illness.

3 Responses to Caring for carers

  1. I too have a severely disabled child and we are lucky to get two days respite a month- which I am very grateful for!

    I don’t have youth on my side!

  2. MacDoctor says:

    One of the things I like about the National health policies so far, is that they are spending relatively small amounts of money but seem to have taken care to put that money into places that will make a difference to real people, such as respite care and hospice.

    There is none of this mumbo jumbo sweeping generalisation that you see in the Labour08 site (That, by the way, STILL has no health policy):

    We will build upon the positive changes to our health system over this decade to offer the best possible service for all New Zealanders.

    Mmmm. I feel all warm and fuzzy inside…

  3. homepaddock says:

    Oswald – if we got three days a week there must be more help available for you than two days a month.

    Or is the problem not that you can’t get respite care but that you can’t get it to the standard you require?

    With IHC’s shared care scheme our son stayed with people we knew and they gave him the same standard of care as we did, but not everyone is able to find people willing and able to do that for them.

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