The cost of caring…
The reality of caring for someone is that it is not only mentally and physically draining but also financially draining. It is a constant battle for me to go up against Doctors, the ADHB and providers to get a smidgen of support, it has taken almost a full year to get the support listed below for us, some of it is a result of me having had a breakdown. You will see we do get support now for Martha, but as a carer I get no support to look after my mental wellbeing. I do not attend any support groups because none are available to me and when asked by a Doctor or social worker about how I am and I choose to speak openly and honestly about how hard it is to care for Martha I am usually met with “well maybe you should look at putting her into full time care..” I pay for my own counseling to help me deal with the issues of being a carer but all complete honesty I punish myself a lot because I don’t have the emotional capacity to deal with the loss and grief I experience as a carer to my Mama. I experience periods of being manic as well as deep depression. I see my doctor and counselor often and take care of myself as best I can, sometimes through the help of medication and sometimes not. I have a great support network of friends, family friends, family, trainers, gym buddies etc to help me along the way. But it is a very lonely journey.
The financial cost;
Fully funded care (weekly) = 1.5 hours with a community support worker. 1.5 hours per week of personal cares such as showering
Partially funded care (weekly) = 4 days at a Day care programme (approx 6 hours per day). Total cost to us $48 per week
Fully funded respite care (annually) = Nil
Partially funded respite care (annually) = 52 days. The total cost of respite is approx $181 per day this is how it is broken down.. $67 through carer support, $84 through ADHB. Total cost to us $30 per day.
Fully funded in home respite care (annually) = Nil
Partially funded in home respite care (annually) = Nil
Cost of in home respite care per 24 hours = $120
Cost of a single doctors visit = $35 – $40
Cost per script = $5
Funding I get towards counseling = Nil
Support groups I attend = Nil
Supported living payment I receive as a carer = $264 per week
Support from friends and family to care for Martha = PRICELESS
What I hope and what I am aiming to do is to get more supports for carers, I use this blog to be heard, to vent my frustrations, to praise myself and to give myself hope. I also think that we need to have a society that supports us in our journey to do that as well. I want to be heard, listened to and valued by my community. I’m not asking for praise but just the opportunity to share the heart ache as well as the joys of doing what I do. Im sure that there are organizations out there that provide services that help, but after almost a year of being in Auckland I have not seen nor heard from them so I don’t know if they truly exist.
I write this and think that maybe a lot of people will say, “maybe it is time for full time care.” It’s not. Trust me.