I would like to add my comments to the article headlined: Change of carer shocks clients [ Kapi-Mana News, February 12]. This was poor timing by Enliven to re-zone support workers just before Christmas. One of my clients said she did not even have a chance to say goodbye or give gifts to two other support workers who assisted her.
You build a bond with your client which takes as much as five visits before there is trust. When this happens your clients rely on you, more than their family in some cases.
One of the problems I have had with Enliven is trying to get more funds for petrol allowance which has not increased in four years. When you factor in insurance, running costs, WOF and registration, maintenance and depreciation, you find you are out of pocket and this can reduce your hourly rate by 50 cents to a dollar depending on the CC rating of your vehicle.
On top of that, we are using our mobile phones to contact the office and client. We are not reimbursed, adding more expense to the support workers (I would personally be happy to break even). I believe our union is trying to improve our position with regard to wages and petrol allowance. It should never have come to this.
These matters need to be attended to urgently as these support workers do an extraordinary job and should be receiving better attention as some are earning not much more than the minimum wage. If Enliven or Capital Health do not have the funds then we need the Government to come to their assistance, as our precious senior clients need our utmost attention.