Serious injury & disability
Thinking of being a caregiver?
Providing personal care to another person is a big responsibility, especially if you will be doing this long term. Take a look at the information below before you decide to take on providing personal care for someone.
Tasks like toileting can be embarrassing and awkward for everyone.
Strain on relationships
It’s natural to want to support someone, like a spouse or family member, but bear in mind that this can add stress to existing relationships. Tasks like toileting can eventually drain the intimacy and spark out of a relationship.
Providing personal care on top of existing work or childcare commitments can be a lot for you to manage alone, and it can disrupt your usual household routines and activities.
Providing personal care will create an employment relationship between you and the person you’re caring for.
Strength and skill requirements
You may need to be physically strong. Tasks like turning and lifting will require physical strength and fitness.
You may need special training. Tasks involving medications, changing catheters and heavy lifting have health risks for both parties. You may need training from a registered nurse to perform these safely.
Changing needs over time
The person you’re caring for may no longer need as much assistance from you, which will affect the income you receive. This can get awkward if the person you’re caring for is a close whānau/family member.
The person you are caring for gets to choose how you’ll be paid for providing their personal care, either:
- they’ll pay you themselves from money they get from ACC, or
- you’ll be paid directly by ACC
Depending on this decision, one or both parties have legal responsibilities for paying income tax, ACC levies, holiday pay, sick leave and possibly GST.
Need to talk with someone?
The ACC Support or Service Coordinator working with the person you may be providing care for is a good place to start. If you don’t feel up to being a full-time or a long-term caregiver they’ll use their experience to help you find ways that personal care can be targeted to your individual circumstances.
Watch a video clip of Rodney talking frankly about what it’s like having someone else help you with personal care like shaving, showering and using the toilet.