Tue | Oct 16, 2018

Letter of the Day | Offer financial aid to caregivers of mentally ill

Published:Saturday | October 13, 2018 | 12:10 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

As the authorities get ready to discharge some 400 inmates at Bellevue Hospital, it is important to signal that no financial provision is given by the State to those responsible for the care of persons with disabilities in their charge.

This is a society in which most persons struggle to make ends meet daily. Financial stringency must surely be one of the reasons why family members are reluctant to take responsibility for persons who cannot or are not likely to find employment on account of their disability or illness.

One is faced with a situation in which no income tax relief is available to those who have to buy medicines, toiletries, and food, in addition to paying medical and transportation bills for ill persons in their care.

Alternatively, no disability allowance is provided for those who can be certified as in need of care.

So while the authorities speak of the provision of trained medical support for long-standing patients to be discharged from hospitals, it is important for them to devise measures that can bring financial relief to caregivers who can produce receipts for the bills which they incur as a result of their support of ill family members in the home or in nursing facilities.

MAUREEN WARNER-LEWIS

mwarnerlewis@gmail.com