Caring for carers

October 20, 2008

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.

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