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Euthanasia not black and white

By Laurie Hilsgen

I support the disability movement's concerns about legalising euthanasia and what this means for people who have high support needs, and the elderly, and the chronically ill.

On the surface of it, having the choice to die is empowering.

Give Carers A Break This Summer

MEDIA RELEASE        22 December, 2014

Health service claims of ‘granny dumping’ over the summer holidays are often made at this time of year, but the national charity which supports New Zealand’s 430,000+ family carers says the issue reflects the country’s fragmented respite system. 

“For every case of so-called granny dumping there are thousands of Kiwis providing 24/7 care for someone who is frail or has high support needs, and they need a break just like everyone else over the holidays,” says chief executive Laurie Hilsgen. 

Drop Your Pants Here

That is the sign at the end of our street. It is on a signboard attached to the Laundry on the corner in letters a metre high.

You can see it all the way down the hill as you come into town from the south on the State Highway.

There are other signs, in much smaller letters, attached to the laundry building. One gives the opening hours, as you would expect, and another tells about the 24 hour Laundromat and internet café. But high above all the others is “Drop Your Pants Here”.

Now, at one stage in my life, that would have made sense.

Ignorance Behind Granny Dumping Claims

At least once a year, usually at Christmas, you can count on a story about 'granny dumping' by callous families wanting a carefree holiday unburdened by elderly dependents.

Such families, so the theory goes, dump their elders on hospital doorsteps, even though they are not sick enough to warrant residential treatment, but are perhaps not well enough to stay home alone while the rest of the household decamps for the holiday period.

Share Your Stories!

Every carer has a story to tell. Sharing your story will help other carers.

We've created the Stories section of our website to help reduce the feelings of isolation many carers experience.

Often carers aren't able to attend support events for learning, sharing, and fun. We hope the stories here will build over time as another way for carers to connect with each other, and raise awareness of their role.

We invite you to share your thoughts and experiences about caring, which we will post in this Stories space.

Adolescent dreams

Bruce Springsteen’s early music was about dreams. A glorified gutter rat from small town New Jersey wants to find life, and he’s going to find it in New York City faster than you can shout out 1-2-3-4. 

What’s more, he’s going to find it in a car with ludicrously huge fins, a pretty girl named Wendy seated next to him, and stardust music twinkling from the dashboard as they bullet along the turnpike. 

I discovered Springsteen when I was more or less my son Eliot’s age (he has just turned 14), as if in an adolescent dream. 

Too Good To Be True?

Media Release

Not for profits welcome decision to pay family carers

May 2013

The Government's decision to allocate $23 million a year to family carers of adult children with disability needs seems positive, but it does not bear scrutiny, says the New Zealand Carers Alliance.

The Alliance, a coalition of 45 national non-profit organisations, says the Government's move will help a limited number of families.

Carers Angry After Minimum Wage Decision

Media Release

June 2013

The Government's decision in the May 2013 Budget to provide only minimum wage payments to families supporting high needs disabled adult children has stunned the carer community.

"It sends the message that family carers aren't valued as much as other caregivers, when they know that the quality of support they provide is as good as, and often better than, what could otherwise be on offer," says Roger Palairet, chair of Carers NZ and Secretariat of the NZ Carers Alliance of 45 national not for profits.

Flawed, Unfair Family Care Payment

MEDIA RELEASE

The Chairman of the NZ Carers Alliance, John Forman, said it will do nothing other than pit disabled people against their closest loved ones, by introducing an employer dimension into family relationships.

September 2013 

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