Geriatric caregivers worry over jobs
By COREY CONNELLY Monday, September 17 2012
Caregivers employed with the Geriatric Adolescent Partnership Programme (GAPP) are seeking an urgent meeting with Minister of Community Development Winston Peters to discuss the future of the initiative.
This follows concerns by caregivers that the GAPP, which was established during the 1990s to promote a greater appreciation of the elderly through the development of practical skills, is set to be restructured.
Several caregivers told Newsday last Thursday they had learnt the programme was currently being evaluated with a view to being restructured.
They also claimed that caregivers, some of whom have been with the programme for more than five years, were due to be sent home indefinitely to accommodate a fresh batch of students.
One caregiver, who asked to remain anonymous, said a supervisor assigned to the programme told her that her service would be broken.
The supervisor, she said, also claimed the GAPP was updating its computer system “so that they will be shifting us around after an evaluation is done.”
The upset caregiver, who complained that she had not received ample notice of the decision to break her service, also wondered if any consideration was given to clients under their care.
“This is not professional at all and on top of that, where is the notice for the clients. I have not been paid for July yet and they break my service,” she said.
“When you are breaking someone’s service, to me, you have no intention to bring them back. But you have to call the clients and let them know what is happening. Nobody called my client.”
She added, “The Government is speaking about how the elderly are living longer but you need people there to be with the elderly. Some of us have good relationships with our patients.”
Another caregiver, who has worked with the programme for close to eight years, found it foolish that their jobs could be terminated on a whim.
“This is just victimisation on the part of the administration,” she complained, adding that a planned meeting on Friday to inform caregivers of developments within the programme never materialised. Peters could not be reached for comment as calls to he cellular phone went unanswered.