Liberals must explain eligibility around Caregiver Benefit Program

March 16, 2018 at 1:09 pm

Progressive Conservative health critic Elizabeth Smith-McCrossin says the Liberal government must explain why Barry and Gisele don’t deserve help under the Caregiver Benefit Program.

Gisele Lewis, of Amherst, cares for her husband Barry Inglis who has severe Parkinson’s, an advanced stage of the disease. Mr. Inglis requires round-the-clock care but still doesn’t qualify for the program.

“As a caregiver, I had to quit my good-paying job so I could take care of my family,” says Lewis. “This program is a small token to a caregiver who provides hours of care and helps ease the stress of living on low income.”

Smith-McCrossin says the Liberals have failed this family.

“Here’s a family trying to keep their loved one at home and out of facility care,” says Smith-McCrossin. “They just need a little help. The Liberals need to explain why this family has been denied the assistance that will help to keep their loved one at home.”

Some of the eligibility criteria may include: many challenges in managing their personal needs, a high risk of falls, a high risk of long-term care placement, and cognitive impairment.

“My husband’s health has been deteriorating. He has mild dementia, trouble with his eyesight and walking. Last year, he fell and broke two bones and this year broke another two,” says Lewis. “You have to be half dead to qualify.”

Lewis is advocating for all families that have been rejected from the program.

“I’ve been told it’s black and white, and that the score is the score,” says Lewis. “We are being told we don’t meet the requirement because our challenges are not ‘high’ enough. How high do they need it to be?”