In the current times, individuals are being encouraged to remain socially distanced and keep at least 1.5m from others. Whilst this is a safe practice, what if you are someone that relies on close contact and hands on contact for support?
We thought we would answer some commonly asked questions and clear up any confusion on what to do when booking personal care and social distancing is on your mind.
Can I continue to book my carer or multiple carers if I need it?
Yes, you most certainly can, provided you don’t have symptoms of Coronavirus or come into contact with an infected individual or are meant to be socially isolating due to travel. If your support requires more than one carer you are allowed to have them. NSW Health and the NDIS have stressed that if you need hands-on support, then you are allowed to continue to receive that support, and that social distancing rules can’t always apply due to the nature of requiring assistance for personal care activities.
It’s encouraged to try to spread out your roster as much as possible, and only have one service delivered at a time. For example, have your personal carer and cleaner come at separate times to reduce the amount of people in your house.
What if my support worker isn’t available due to self-isolation?
If this has happened to you, then contact your provider immediately for assistance. All providers will do their best to ensure your needs are met and your schedule does not change significantly.
Is there anything I can do to reduce the risk?
As mentioned, if you can try to alter your roster to reduce the amount of foot traffic into your home. You can also move any services you do not need delivered face to face online. Where possible with some services, if you are comfortable to have a virtual session with your support professional and informal supports trained in certain support areas you can do so via video conference. For things such as grooming, try to see if you can have a virtual video session with your personal carer and someone else in the home to assist. This way they can walk you through the steps, and still help you develop your independence skills.
Do I need to provide PPE for my workers?
We encourage you to have this conversation with your Support Professional, and see what PPE is appropriate for the service and who is going to provide it.
It is encouraged to have alcohol based hand sanitiser at the entry of your home and in important places such as the bathroom if you can.
I want to self isolate but don’t want to let my Support Worker go without work, what can I do?
If you’re looking to completely self isolate (and you can) but want to continue the relationship with your support worker, consider what you can do with them online. Here at tappON we have released video conferencing which means you can still have support sessions virtually. Whilst they will obviously not be able to provide hands-on support consider what skills you can develop over virtual chat. You could practice grooming together or learn some basic kitchen skills!
It’s important to remember that your supports are an essential service and you are entitled to continue to receive them. However it’s also very important to take any steps you can to protect yourself and your support team.
If you need assistance with adapting your support network or developing a personal care schedule our tappON team can assist you, we can be contacted here.
For more information the NDIA is releasing information and updates regularly, you can head over to their website for more information.