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Disabled Woman Left Without Home Help Over Christmas Break
Wednesday 22 January 2020
Disabled woman left without home help over Christmas break
A disabled woman was told she could not have any home help for two weeks over the Christmas break because her assigned days fell on public holidays.
However, her carer still provided support for her ill husband during that time because his care is funded under a different contract.
Wairoa resident Careen Busing suffers from PTSD, fibromyalgia and chronic migraines. She gets 45 minutes of help with household chores every Wednesday, provided by a HealthCare New Zealand worker, funded by Hawke's Bay District Health Board.
HealthCare NZ also provides her husband Carl, who is severely ill, with cleaning help on Mondays and Fridays funded under a contract with Veterans' Affairs. He also receives 15 minutes of personal care every morning and evening funded by the DHB under a different contract.
The same carer often carries out all these duties for the couple.
Because HealthCare NZ did not provide basic housework support on public holidays in Hawke's Bay and as Christmas Day fell on a Wednesday, with Boxing Day also a public holiday, Careen Busing was expecting help to arrive on Friday.
Instead she received an email on Boxing Day advising her that due to a lack of carers and because her husband was being provided with care during that time she would not receive any home help for two weeks.
"They bundled my husband's care and my own together, which was wrong. We have separate needs. My carer does things specifically for me," she said.
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