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MeetUps: Learning, Sharing, Fun for Carers!

Would you like to meet other carers in your community? 

We know that many family carers find it difficult to attend events for learning, sharing, and fun ... but no one understands a carer like another carer. Give a MeetUp a try!

Family Carers and Election 2014: Analysis of party positions

This weekend, eligible voters will gather at the polls to determine the political future of New Zealand for the next three years.

Many thousands of those same voters will then return home to continue providing around-the-clock care for ill, elderly, and disabled family members and loved ones. 

More than 430,000 New Zealanders have caring roles, according to Census 2013, so what the political parties are promoting in terms of policy is of self-evident relevance to them. 

My fashion statement

“Perfectly normal at your age!” said the GP.

I had asked about the significance of a radiology report, which said I was suffering from ‘Severe Degenerative Spinal Disease’.

“Do I panic?” was my question. But the GP was not at all sympathetic.

“It’s OK for you,” I thought, “You only look about 35.”

 The scan of my back was quite incidental to the real problem, which was to do with a much more abdominal part of my anatomy (See “Mind your P’s and Q’s”).

Remembering to vote

An interesting Election Day-related item in the news today on dementia and elections gives new meaning to the old injunction about remembering to vote. 

Aged care providers are saying that the Electoral Act needs to be reviewed to stop people with severe dementia being able to cast a ballot, Radio New Zealand reports

Under the existing legislation, it’s okay for sufferers to vote as long as they know what they’re doing.

Those Ginger Nuts

I am devastated about ginger nuts. You know, the ones you have to ask for by name. 

In spite of the old jingle, they do NOT taste the same! 

We bought a packet after a long gap. (Usually either Grannie makes scones or Grandad bakes a fruit cake or a batch of anzac biscuits). They were thinner, narrower, and not the same rich ginger colour. And they did not taste anything like the full, rich ginger flavour I remember.

Now here's an interesting proposal

Ah, the political springtime. The electoral sap is rising, and so are the party promises (or lack of promises) for unpaid carers. I’ll be looking at some of them over the coming fortnight—but first, for what it’s worth, here's one excellent proposal from Britain. 

What’s being proposed in the UK is that workers who care for elderly, sick or disabled loved ones should have a legal right to extra paid leave to help them balance their caring responsibilities and jobs, the former care minister is proposing. 

Clean politics

Meanwhile, back in the real world ... the business of caring goes on. 

Astonishing as it might appear for those within the Wellington chattering class, there are one or two subjects that could win or lose votes next month other than who said what to who in which email republished in the new Nicky Hager book. 

The situation of carers is one. 

On the hustings

What a week this has been in politics! We have been to two pre-election meetings, neither of them very well attended. 

The first was hosted by the teachers’ union, the NZEI. They had four speakers: Plunket, Kindergarten Association, Principals’ Association, and a paediatrician from the local hospital. They highlighted issues like child poverty, and lack of money for early childhood education. They asked some questions of the politicians. 

Then we had responses from three party representatives: National, Labour and the Greens. 

Social cringe?

"Strengths-based" is a popular buzzword for encouraging Kiwis to address challenges in a positive, proactive way. 

Instead of saying "life is bloody hard on a benefit and I haven't been able to find a job" we might say "being unemployed is an opportunity to learn new skills and branch out into new directions, finding employment I might never have considered or thought possible before I was made redundant". 

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