COVID-19 HELP | DIVERSITY & INCLUSION

COVID-19 HELP | DIVERSITY & INCLUSION - Board of Directors
MORE COVID HELP

Following from our ‘Diversity & Inclusion’ sector hub page. here are some additional COVID-19 resources…

How can people with disability stay safe with COVID?

Prevention

  • Get a booster as soon as you can
  • Get vaccinated and get a booster as soon as you can.

Chemist, doctors’ surgeries and vaccine hubs are all offering boosters.   Find out about getting a booster here or talk to you GP. For people who cannot receive their vaccinations at routine clinics, email your request to [email protected] if you live in the Hunter. Otherwise contact your local health district disability team.

Keep COVID safe with support workers

Support workers should:

  • Wear a mask and use other PPE when supporting you
  • Practice very good hand hygiene – this means washing their hands or hand sanitizing frequently
  • Wipe down high touch surfaces in your home
  • Abide by public health orders and follow COVID safe practices.
  • Be vaccinated and have a booster shot as soon as they can
  • Not work if they have COVID symptoms are a confirmed close contact or are waiting for the result of a PCR test.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

  • Masking up
    Your support workers need to be wearing a mask when working closely with you.If you/ your support workers don’t have access to P2/ N95 masks continue to ensure your support workers wear a surgical or cloth masks whenever social distancing is not possible.
  • Excellent hygiene
    Ensure support workers have good had hygiene – wash or sanitise have regularly
  • Ventilation
    Open or well-ventilated spaces reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 because infectious particles are more quickly diffused in the open air than in spaces with less ventilation. Open window and doors to improve airflow when inside with support workers.
  • Open Communication
    Talk with support workers about how to minimise risks while working with you and in their ‘outside‘ life. Ask for openness and if they think they have been exposed to call 

 

Prepare

Make a plan with you GP now

There is early medication that can be given to people who are at high risk if they catch COVID.  Make a telehealth appointment with your GP as soon as you can to discuss

      • Early treatment options. The Australian Guidelines on Clinical Care of people with COVID-1 has information on early treatment pathways for vulnerable people
      • Early detection with rapid antigen testing and access to PCR testing if you are not able to get to a testing Hub
      • How to get in contact/ alternate contacts outside of clinic hours if you catch COVID
      • Plans for your care and monitoring if you catch COVID
      • Urgent access to full PPE for support workers / carers
      • Other services and resources you can use

Talk with your support workers and service providers

Discuss with your service providers and support workers

      • Plans to continue to care for you while you have COVID. Registered service providers must have plans in place to continue care even if you have COVID (it is part of their registration requirement)
      • Urgent access to full PPE for support workers
      • Urgent training for support workers working in using PPE in a COVID environment

Rapid Antigen test yourself

Use a rapid antigen test on yourself if you are worried you might have been exposed to COVID. There does not appear to be any guidance on the optimal time to use RAT but the viral load tends to be at it’s highest 2-3 days after exposure. Though you may wish to test beforehand.

If you have a positive RAT talk with your GP. As a person with disability, you might need access to early treatment. Waiting for PCR test result could delay early access.

If you cannot get to a PCR testing clinic contact your local Public Health Unit on 1300 066 055.

Be a prepper: Get what you need now

Make yourself a COVID Kit with two weeks supply of everything. You might also arrange with friends, family or support to pick up items you might need and drop to your door.

 

COVID Kit

    • Oximetry (pulse oximeter) – can be purchased online or at pharmacy. Pulse oximetry can help early to detect a deterioration in breathing – before you even realise you are having difficulty.  Use the oximeter now to understand what your regular oxygen saturations are.
    • Full PPE
    • Paracetamol
    • Ibuprofen
    • Fluid & Electrolyte replacement
    • Anti-viral throat gargle eg betadine sore throat gargle
    • Throat lozenges with aesthetic – NB may not be safe for people with swallowing or sensitivity issues
    • RAT
    • Regular meds
    • Supplementary feeds if you usually need these or need when unwell
    • Respiratory support equipment that you already use. (O2/masks/tubing/suction/ nebuliser )

Going to hospital

Hospital passport – Have a hospital passport ready in case you need to go to hospital. This document has important information about you.  It can include information like:

  • medication you take
  • important people to contact
  • your disability and the support you need
  • how you are when you are well and how to know when you are sick or in pain
  • equipment you need like communication device, walking stick etc
  • ways to help you keep calm and relaxed
  • you have the right to equal treatment as other people
  • and anything else you think is important

Support person in hospital – If you need support from a familiar person – get in touch with the Patient Representative at your local hospital if you need someone to stay with you in hospital

Hunter  New England Health REACH – Patient and Family Activated Escalation REACH is a system that is available across all hospitals in HNELHD, and can be used by patients, by their family members, or carers to raise concerns if you notice a worrying change in your condition or that of a loved one.

Other useful contacts

If you are not getting the support you need contact Covid Care in the Community (CCitC) email [email protected]

CCitC nurse 0402 990 266
7 days:  8am-4.30pm

Other Information

Swabbing Resources:

  • Participants to attend drive through clinics with staff in full PPE and windows down
  • Providers that may offer home-based swabbing
  • DHM: 1800 026 622
  • Laverty: 02 9005 7000 (24 Hours)
  • 4Cyte: 13 42 98
  • Histopath: 02 9878 8111
  • Australian Clinical Labs: 1300 134 111

Infection Prevention and Control

 

How to self isolate:

  • Don’t leave your home or have visitors
  • Only leave your home to go to the doctors or because of an emergency
  • You can still let people who give you care and support into your home
  • People who give you care should wear a mask
  • You should wash your hands after you: use the toilet, cough, sneeze, take your mask off, prepare food, touch your face.

You can call the National relay service if you are: deaf, have hearing or speech impairment

  • 133 677

Staying home

  • Be active eg dancing exercising
  • Stay connected eg call family and friends
  • Do things you enjoy eg drawing or puzzles
  • Sleep well eg take a shower or listen to calm music before bed