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EDITORIAL: Programme Welcome For Caregivers’ Unenviable Task

EDITORIAL: Programme Welcome For Caregivers’ Unenviable Task
May 12
10:27 2018

Family caregivers provide overall care needs for their loved ones, which often requires pa­tience, tough love and a sense of duty.

Many perform these tasks without appropriate edu­cation, support and training.

They provide many types of physical and/or emo­tional care for an ill or disabled loved one at home.

Loved ones in need of care could be suffering from a physical or mental illness, disability, substance abuse or other conditions.

In this sense the Government must be applauded for the Community Training for Family Caregivers at Levuka, Ovalau.

It is a fact that we need trained caregivers in Fiji.

A report said, “Family caregivers operate as exten­sions of health care systems performing complex medical and therapeutic tasks and ensuring care recipient adherence to therapeutic regimens. They operate as home-based ‘care co-ordinators’ and per­sonal advocates for care recipients.

“As health care costs and utilisation continue to rise, individuals facing physical, mental or behav­ioural challenges are increasingly dependent on the ability of family or other informal caregivers to op­erate competently as formal health care providers. Yet, despite their important function in our society, caregivers do not receive adequate training, prepara­tion or ongoing support from health care systems.”

Those who provide caregiving in community family settings have been the silent and invisible workers; providing a much-needed service to the vulnerable in society without being paid or being recognised as part of the labour force in Fiji.

Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Allevia­tion Mereseini Vuniwaqa, when opening the train­ing at Levuka, Ovalau, said, “This training recog­nises the work that you do on a voluntary basis. This training recognises the need to empower our com­munities to be able to look after their loved ones who are in need of special individual support”.

In community settings a caregiver can either be a relative, friend or neighbour who provides practi­cal, day-to-day unpaid support for a person unable to complete all of the tasks of daily living. On the other hand, the person who is receiving care is usually af­flicted by old age, disability, a disease or a mental disorder.

The Community Family Training Workshop for Family Caregivers at Levuka offers a great opportu­nity to firstly understand the challenging realities of caregivers, share best practices and assist in map­ping the relevant interventions to assist in commu­nity family caregiving.

Let us be reminded that those who need our care older persons and persons living with disabilities – have inalienable rights as proclaimed under Fiji’s 2013 Constitution, which provide for a wide range of socio-economic rights.

These rights include rights to education, access to health care, housing and sanitation, reasonable ac­cess to transportation, food security and safe water, and social security schemes.

We now have a Government that cares for our sen­ior citizens and the disabled.

Existing Government initiatives to address the needs of older persons and persons living with dis­abilities are well established in terms of social pro­tection programmes, which include monthly allow­ances for older persons aged 65 years and above and those living with disabilities.

Bus fare concessions are also provided for older per­sons aged 60 years and above at 50 per cent conces­sion while those living with disabilities have a 100 per cent concession.

MAIKA BOLATIKI

Feedback: maikab@fijisun.com.fj

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