Accident vs Medical Event…

It is difficult sometimes to do the work that I do and to see the huge impact that a major health event has on the patients and families I do my best to support. Most of the people who are admitted to the Ward are under 65 years of age. There are a few exceptions, but mostly people need to be under 65.

People come in with brain tumours, strokes, neurological disorders and a variety of other conditions. They come to our ward to recover and rehabilitate and hopefully return home.

The thing with being under 65 years is that many of the people I work with have been working and earning and often still bringing up children. Many also have either a mortgage or rent, which can be huge. So, the financial burden can be enormous. If a person on our ward is part of a couple and their partner works, then often they do not qualify for any kind of income support through Work and Income (WINZ) as the income threshold is very low. I see time and time again, people reeling from a significant health event and trying to recover and regain their health. To cap this off, often they face significant financial repercussions, and some have had to look at selling their home or trying to find a way to continue to live and function financially, with a significantly reduced income.

If a person has an accident in New Zealand, though and they were working, they can be paid an ongoing income (80% of their wage) for as long as they are unable to work. They can get equipment, taxis to work – if they can return – and therapy. People with a health event can get equipment and therapy too, but taxis have to be paid for and they certainly don’t get 80% of their wages paid to them. If they get any payment at all!

So, there is a distinct disadvantage in having a non-accident related disability from a progressive illness like Parkinson’s. No compensation available for having to stop work because the condition worsens. No free taxis.

I find it difficult dealing with situations like these and it does feel very unfair, when I have to tell someone, who has worked all their lives and done their best, that they don’t get any financial assistance. There is a feeling of helplessness in seeing their distress and not being able to find a way to help with the tenuous financial situation they find themselves in, often literally overnight.

Having Parkinson’s is a difficult road to travel. However, for some of the patients I work with they may come to the ward newly diagnosed with brain tumours or other cancers. For them, there is not only the shock of a frightening diagnosis, but for some they have the grief of knowing that they have – in some cases – only months to live.

For me, when I see people dealing with the grief and shock of a terminal diagnosis, it brings home to me, that while this condition deteriorates over time, I am hopeful that the time I will have will measure in years, not months or days.

Whatever the time we have allotted to us on this earth, my work and my personal experience remind me every day that life is a precious gift and not to be wasted.

Published by kiwipommysue

I work in health and have been with the same supportive team for over 7 years. They are all aware of my diagnosis and this helps tremendously especially while I get used to the idea of my diagnosis. My parents both had Parkinsons, so I guess my odds were higher than most.

8 thoughts on “Accident vs Medical Event…

  1. True sue Sadly thats how life is
    Most of us have bills and houses but also want live out maybe 10 .15 years of useful time.
    70 about where i want to be .
    61 atm in a shitty job after my 20 years former employer found a reason to push me out but only after u told them what I’d had for all the time i was working there

    But i try to be positive
    Involved in clubs meet new people and do things i haven’t done before that sort of approach .hard some days for sure .
    Live life and know it will sadly end at some stage


    1. So sad that your employer was so short sighted and didn’t support you as a loyal employee of many years. We can still be capable, useful, loyal employees with good skills despite our condition. Keep trying to be positive and meeting new people and get the most out of life that you can.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi Clint. I have to be very careful in my role in giving out personal contact details. I will see if I can set up an email address for this site and let you know soon.


      2. Morning
        I completely understand .
        Easily fix i can contact you other ways .
        Catch up
        Stay well


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