Benial Kumar grateful for good homecare service

Sat 16 Feb 2019

“when I first got involved with you people, I wasn’t getting constant care. I was sent people who could not cook my kind of food, my house was not cleaned very well”

“Now I am very happy, not like before. Now I have a regular Support Worker, the team communicates with me. Everything has changed since Roshni has been here. She cooks the food I like, curry Fiji styles”

“Roshni is like my sister. I never see her as my support worker”

Words used by Pacific Homecare (PHC) customer Benial Kumar to describe the relationship he has built with long-time Support Worker Roshni Kumar.

Not dissimilar to most Pasifika families, Benial’s story begins back home in the islands, the Fiji Islands to be exact.

The youngest of two children, Benial and his family were raised in Vatuwaqa, Suva where he attended Mahatma Ghandi Memorial (MGM) till he left school to work at the age of fifteen.

“I was always independent. I left school when I was 15 and started working to help the family”

Benial’s father was a prison warden so the family spent a good chunk of their lives on prison grounds. As the son of a prison warden, Benial spent many childhood days hanging out with the Naboro prisoners as they cleaned the yard.

“Those days we were safe. There was no fence between the prison and our home”

“As a young boy, I liked to go fishing, catch prawns. Go up into the mountains and catch prawns or pick guava and Kavika (Rose Apple)”.

New Zealand became home to Benial on the 30th day of May 1975 at 7 pm when he first stepped foot on Kiwi soil, all alone as a young boy of 19 years.

“I had a beautiful life in Fiji till I decided to move to New Zealand”

“I wanted to move just for a change”

Here he spent his first few months living with friends in South Auckland before settling into a place of his own.

“I try not to worry about my age you know, just keep going. I try and keep fit”

Things changed for Benial in 2008 when he had his first stroke. For a man who has never been unemployed since landing his first job at the age of fifteen, the stroke drastically affected his independence.

“I like to keep myself busy, build small things. Now my friends come and take me out for a drive a few times a week. We’ll go movies, beach, drive, watch games, etc.”
Benials oldest daughter was his primary carer for a period till things changed within PHC and a regular Support Worker was assigned.

He recalls his first experiences with Pacific Homecare as a customer

“when I first got involved with you people, I wasn’t getting constant care. I was sent people who could not cook my kind of food, my house was not cleaned very well”

“Now I am very happy, not like before. Now I have a regular Support Worker, the team communicates with me. Everything has changed since Roshni has been here. She cooks the food I like, curry Fiji styles”

“I am just grateful that Pacific Homecare has provided me with service that I’m getting and I’m thankful for each and every one”

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