Yi’s story

EIF gives Yi freedom

Yi enjoys an outing at the beach with her daughter
Yi enjoys an outing at the beach with her daughter

Yi and her daughter Faliesha are outside enjoying the Paengaroa sunshine while Yi’s support worker Delwyn hangs out the washing. The mother-daughter time is important to Yi. Family comes first.

Before taking up Enhanced Individualised Funding (EIF), quality family moments were few and far between. Yi, who has post-polio syndrome, couldn’t keep up with her housework or take her daughter to the activities she enjoyed. She relied heavily on her husband.

‘Before EIF, I had lots of complaints when my husband came home and that was stressful. Now I have people to support me to do my housework, have a social life and do the shopping. When my husband comes home we can play with Faliesha and have more family time,’ Yi says.

Yi found out about EIF through Larissa, her Local Area Coordinator (LAC). She was already on Individualised Funding (IF) and attended several workshops to learn about the difference between EIF and IF. She decided to make the switch.

‘EIF puts people with disabilities at the centre. It is much more flexible than IF. You have more control,’ she says.

Caption: Yi found out about Enhanced Individualised Funding (EIF) through her Local Area Coordinator (LAC). She’s now living life her way, with flexible support that helps her meet her goals.

[Yi heading down to the beach with Delwyn and Faliesha. Yi uses a walking stick.]

Yi (voice-over): This leg, the muscle’s dead. So the muscle doesn’t hold my knee so I need to use this arm to hold my knee – and most of the time, physically for me, I have to rely on my family, lots of things I can’t do physically – so that’s stressful.

[Yi watching her daughter play on the trampoline and swing.]

I need a social life, I need to get out of the house – not always stuck at home. I start to get a little bit upset. I like my house tidy but before I couldn’t do it. My daughter was young and made a mess everywhere. I’d stress out. My husband comes home and first thing is ‘Can you now clean the cupboard?’ Actually he’s really tired. He’s been working whole day in the factory and he’s not happy either.

Manawanui, they come out to talk about EIF [Enhanced Individualised Funding] – what the advantage is for EIF. I thought, oh that’s very good because I think I’ve got the ability to make the funding work more for me than IF (Individualised Funding).

EIF totally changed my life. I just enjoy my life now everyday with EIF.

[Yi working on invoices, while Delwyn does housework.]

I can use the funding to achieve my goal – my personal goal or my family goal and then can make a meaningful life and a quality life for the people with the disability. Before I had 10 hours support, like 9 am to 5 pm – no weekends – and I asked Delwyn, I said, ‘Would you like to be my support worker?’ and she said ‘Yes.’ So that’s how it started. It’s a year now and it’s worked out very good.

Caption: Delwyn, Yi’s personal assistant

Delwyn (voice-over): As Yi’s personal assistant I help her out with the housework, hanging washing and things that are more difficult for her to do and drive her to appointments.

[Delwyn putting Faliesha in the car, and driving Faliesha and Yi to the pool. Faliesha swims while Yi and Delwyn watch her and chat.]

With Faliesha I help her out in taking her places and just supervising, just doing little things to help Yi out – make her life easier. It has made her a lot more relaxed and happier. She seems a lot happier in herself to be able to go and do what she wants to do when she wants to do it, instead of being dictated to when she can have her funding and how to implement her funding. So I think it has made her a happier person.

[Yi, Delwyn and Faliesha at the beach and having lunch together.]

Yi (voice-over): Because we had a very good relationship she understands my goal. She understands what kinds of goals I set for myself and then what kind of dream I have and want to achieve. It’s the work according to my time so that’s totally different. It’s not just the money. It’s the life, the hope. We have a meaningful life. We have more opportunity to participate in the community life – not just hiding somewhere, nobody know us, nobody understand us. We need to have the funding to support us to have our voice in the community.

Caption: Enhanced Individualised Funding (EIF) is part of the Ministry of Health’s New Model for Supporting Disabled People. Visit www.health.govt.nz and search for ‘New Model’.

With an accounting background, Yi chose to take charge of every aspect of her disability support funding.

‘Lots of people use EIF and don’t do the payroll – Manawanui will help them, but because of my background it’s easy for me so I decided to do payroll, timesheets – I do everything,’ Yi says.

Using EIF, Yi continued employing her support worker Delwyn who she met at Toastmasters. Having the help of someone who knows her well makes all the difference for Yi.

‘We had a very good relationship before Delwyn worked for me. She understands my goals, what kind of dreams I have and she understands me,’ she says.

Delwyn assists with housework and takes Yi and her daughter to appointments and activities. Her work hours are flexible, depending on when Yi decides she needs support.

‘I feel freedom. It’s what I need according to my time – that’s totally different from before,’ Yi says.

‘I don’t drive and I can use the EIF funding to meet my goal of spending more time with my daughter. For example, after school each Monday Faliesha goes to Brownies and Delwyn can take me so I can see what Faliesha is doing.’

Yi has also started working part-time for People First. She facilitates meetings, does paperwork and promotes the group, which is for people with intellectual disabilities. Delwyn drives her to and from meetings.

It’s at People First that Yi has discovered her passion for helping the general public understand disabled people’s talents and issues. She aims to pursue a career in this area and is confident that she can.

‘I’m working towards my dreams every day, one by one, step by step. With the support I have from EIF and my friends, family and the community – I think I can achieve them,’ she says.

With EIF and a strong support network behind her, Yi now feels that the life she wants can happen.

‘My friends have seen how my life has changed. Before they could see worry in my face even though I didn’t talk about it. Now they see me everyday filled with energy. EIF totally changed my life. I just enjoy my life now every day,’ Yi says.

Enhanced Individualised Funding (EIF) is part of the Ministry of Health’s New Model for Supporting Disabled People.

Read more about the people who have started using the Ministry of Health’s New Model for Supporting Disabled People in the New Model People Stories section.

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