Illawarra carer's voices heard

IMG_4251.JPGIt’s National Carers Week and Member for Throsby Stephen Jones will join CareWays Community today to help launch their new ‘Carers Reference Group’ that will give local carers, clients and other groups the opportunity to come together and advocate their issues and concerns across the region.

“I’m working with CareWays to help inform local carers about the impact of the new Aged Care reforms, their rights and responsibilities, and the likely impacts of the changes to their own lives and the lives of those they care for”, said Jones.

CareWays Operations Manager Michael Szafraniec said there is a significant amount of change happening within the Aged Care and Disability Care sectors.

“The shift to a consumer directed care model is the biggest challenge facing the sector in years”, said Szafraniec.

“Some of the lessons being learnt from disability trial sites around the country operating the consumer directed care model are about ensuring clients and carers understand the changes and the impact they will have in their lives.

“CareWays is about empowering our clients, their families and carers to understand the choices they will have in the very near future and the obligations and responsibilities that come with those choices.

“The Carers’ Reference Group is one avenue where we are inviting carers to open the conversation with us to ensure they are fully empowered to make the right choices in the new era of both Aged and Disability care.”

CareWays will also use the information collected from the ongoing dialogue with carers to ensure that their voices are strengthened across the region.

Stephen Jones has welcomed the opportunity to hear from those who are most in need in the local community and has called on the Abbott Government to drop its cruel attack on Australians with disabilities and their carers’.

“Earlier this month in Parliament, Labor blocked the Abbott Government's unfair cuts to the Disability Support Pension and the Carer Payment that would have hit thousands of carers across the region.

"The Government needs to seriously rethink their out-of-touch priorities and commit more support to carers, including the rollout of Labor's National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) with no cuts, and no delays.

"The NDIS is an once-in-a-lifetime reform that will fundamentally change the lives of thousands of older Australians, those with disabilities and their carers.

“I’m looking forward to working with the Carers’ Reference Group over the coming months, hearing their issue and concerns and taking them to Parliament.”