family members as paid carers

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    • #2395
      Eleanor Barrett

      Hi there
      Does anyone know if a person paid by ACC to be the carer for a family member is able to access any manual handling training? I have a client cared for by their offspring and observed some very hazardous techniques when transferring from bed to wheelchair and back to bed. the young person was proudly saying they are paid by ACC for this work, however there is a huge MH risk to both client and carer as no training in simple techniques has been offered/received. If there is an injury to either one how does this fit with the employer (ACC) and due thought for the health and safety for the employee, even though it is the family home as a work environment? Or does it not count as an employee/employer contract in this sort of situation? How do carers employed in this manner get access to appropriate MH training? Does ACC fund a one off training session to teach family carers in the safest techniques?
      Please note as an OT putting in a hospital bed for end of life cares it was not really the time and place to do this type of training today, and not sure how much of this should be funded by ACC vs Hospice care. The manual handling training needed to happen a long time ago and in this situation I feel we have missed the boat – bad habits have formed and as we near the end of life stage family and emotions might hinder new learning but the young person has been a carer for a while – this part is not new!
      I would be interested in your thoughts on this matter.
      Thank you

    • #2396
      Rebecca Washbourn

      good question!
      in my experience family members are either paid by ACC directly and are actually ‘self employed’ and therefore have to arrange their own tax, acc levies and training etc; or they are paid via the claimant, who is then their employer.

      i always STRONGLY recommend that family are paid carers via an agency. there is often resistance to this from family members but it is really worth selling to them for the following reasons:
      -higher hourly rate
      -sick leave and annual leave opportunities and pay
      -care coordinator who is (meant to be) supportive
      -access to training etc as it is now the responsibility of the agency.
      easiest if they ask ACC for a list of care agencies and then they chose a provider they want to work with.

      if the Case Manager is really fabulous – then you could ask if they will fund a TI programme for education with H&S as a goal if there are concerns for the claimant…

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