Lombardy, the associations contest the draft law on Caregivers: “It defines us as volunteers”

“Nothing about us, without us”. This is the position of several Lombard associations in defense of the rights of people with disabilities that they have organized Tuesday 22 November at 10 a protest garrison. It will be held under the palace of the Lombardy region in Piazza Duca D’Aosta and will be against the draft law (pdl) on the recognition of caregivers, considered “inadequate, ineffective and incomplete with respect to the real support and protection of family members who assist relatives with serious or very serious disabilities and not self-sufficient”. The garrison was decided by Conf with other organizations: No one is excluded ODV, Disabled families in Lombardy, Coordinating CDD parents in Milan, Different abilities, First- Italian Federation of Support and Protection Network, Mondo Charge, Il leap Milan, Mondo Abaut, Under the same sky, InCircle Association. “We are hoping for a last minute discussion with the relevant commission. Unfortunately we were not granted the hearing we requested ”, he tells ilfattoquotidiano.it Maria Theresa Bellini, Confad contact person for Lombardy. “It is important that family associations are involved in the planning of services and in the definition of measures – he adds – if we want to intervene in a concrete way that responds to the real needs of a fragile user. Unfortunately – he continues – I realize that there is still little knowledge of our real life conditions and therefore lack of expertise on the subject. Only by listening to each other can a just and adequate law be born”.

The procedure of the Lombard pdl on the recognition of the caregiver – Born with the approval on October 12 in III commission for health and social policies. The pdl will have to go through November 22 for final approval, the same day the sit-in will take place. It must be said that, as in other Regions for example Lazio and Emilia RomagnaLombardy has also moved to recognize the caregiver, which to date in Italy has not yet been defined in the legal sphere and for years a bill has been lying in parliament for years, considered by the associations to be insufficient. On this, the Committee for the rights of persons with disabilities of the UN recently accepted the appeal presented in 2017 by the then president of Confad Bellini, advising Italy to approve an ad hoc law.

What the Lombard pdl establishes on the recognition of the caregiver – In the 10-page text, Pirellone indicates, among other things, the definition of caregiver intended as “volunteer”interventions in his favor including training courses, psychological support, “information, orientation and support of the family caregiver in accessing the network of social, health and social health services in relation to their needs and care tasks”, actions of insertion-reintegration into work in this field of assistance. In addition, the pdl supports, “through special calls for tenders in favor of Third sector entities, projects aimed at activating solidarity networks and mutual self-help groups for family caregivers” as well as “promotes the development of information and communication systems based on new technologies”. Finally indicates 300 thousand euros for each year of the three-year period 2022-2024 as expenses deriving from the implementation of the provisions.

What do they dispute – All the organizations adhering to the garrison are cohesive in the struggle and consider some points “unacceptable”. “The regional pdl is not correct in its definition of a caregiver defined as a volunteer. But we are not volunteers but people who responsibly take care of their relatives, thus renouncing their basic rights and subjecting themselves to considerable psychophysical stress,” says Bellini. Then there are other very strong differences with respect to the text. “The concepts of continuity of care and coexistence are not indicated. Totally different – says Bellini – are those who assist remotely and occasionally”. The pdl offers training courses, psychological support and possible reintegration into work in the welfare field. “We don’t need training as we have matured over the years all the assistance skills of various kinds necessary for the care and for a minimally dignified life of our loved ones”, says the Confad contact person. “We don’t have time for psychological support, while I go to the psychologist who replaces me? Finally, I strongly doubt that a caregiver wants to continue working in the care field”. Very critical too Lucky Nicolettivice president of No one is excluded. “We are not volunteers and we certainly do not need training since we often know much more than who is a professional caregiver” he reports to Fatto.it. “This law is not only unfair but also dangerous and associations of family members with disabilities like ours can only deem it inadmissible”.

What do they ask – All the acronyms that will participate in the sit-in propose that Lombardy region present: precise recognition criteria (continuous and prolonged assistance, non-self-sufficiency of the assisted person, coexistence with the assisted), bureaucratic simplification and priority accesses of an administrative type, greater economic support given the impoverishment that the family with disabilities suffers (already exist measures like B1 and B2 but need to be expanded), replacement of the caregiver with free choice by the family of the most suitable operator for the individual caseinsurance coverage paid by the Region to make up for the welfare holiday due to illness or the caregiver’s need for relief, home care of specialist visits.

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