Individual Submission – Lydie
I am a carer
The draft outlines some good ideas but neglects some key elements that I feel are essential to both carers and those we care for. As a full-time carer for my elderly and disabled mother, these are areas that I feel should be addressed.
Firstly, more funding for carer’s support groups is essential. These groups provide much needed assistance, in providing education, support and respite services. Simple things such as a back massage that a carer cannot pay for or find time for can be provided and funded by the support group at the carer’s need; assistance with counselling and services related to those needs, as often the most important thing a carer needs is someone neutral to talk to.
Someone mentioned day centers for the frail aged, and I’d suggest that day centers for the person being cared for regardless of their age would be a boon for all carers, giving them the peace of mind in knowing that their loved one is safe and looked after while the carer can then go and do something for themselves, something as small as going to a movie, which is a pasttime that most people take for granted but needs a lot of planning for a carer to hope to do. Facilities that provide day care / evening care and charge reasonable fees, not an arm and a leg, would be very welcome, especially if there were more of them.
Thirdly, more domestic support. If there was funding provided for a cleaner to come once a month and do a big clean, including such things as oven / stove cleaning, window cleaning, etc, that would help a lot. Many of us carers are physically unable to do all these things due to ailments of our own, and many others are too tired from caring and working or studying to be able to give as deep a clean as we might like. This is not to say that carers are dirty people–far from it. Just that the extra assistance in this area would be appreciated.
Another area that could be looked at and should be looked at is providing funding that allows the carer and the person they care for to go on short holidays. Pensioners get a railway voucher; something like this that allows for the carer and the person they care for to enjoy new vistas. It’s been proven that travel is a wonderful part of education, and it’s fair to say that getting a change of scenery for both would help with elevating the happiness of both.
Financial assistance in order to purchase items that ease the trials of every day living, such as hiring furniture for the person who is being cared for, would be excellent. More funding for respite for carers overall is necessary. Funding and assistance in forms of travel around the local area for carers and the person they care for if the carer does not drive would be excellent as well. This is an area that I think is often overlooked, as not everyone is able to drive or has access to a car and not everyone is able to manage public transport.