Funding family care

By: Jan Tinetti

Jan Tinetti
Labour MP

The Government announced recently a major overhaul of disabilities funding which will see family members, including parents and spouses, paid up to $25.50 an hour to look after family members.

With around 32 per cent of Tauranga people living with a disability and a large, aged population, this will no doubt impact positively on many people here.

Funded Family Care is health funding for eligible disabled people to employ their parents or family members over 18 who they live with to provide them with their personal care and household management support. It also covers people with long-term chronic health conditions, mental health and addiction issues and aged care. Without this funding many people wouldn’t have the choice to stay in their home with their families, instead relying on expensive care often funded by the State.

I know of one woman who has cared for her disabled daughter for many years. She does everything –showering, toileting, preparing meals – many hours of work which has restricted her ability to get full-time employment. There is never any money for small luxuries or family holidays as the part-time work she could do barely covered the mortgage and food. Now she and others will receive an income for their incredible work which in many cases is 24 hours per day, seven days per week.

I’m proud to be part of a more compassionate Government which supports some of our most vulnerable and some of the most hardworking people in our society.