Staying Home, Staying Safe
We’re all getting used to spending a lot more time at home these days. Not just people staying home from work but staying home, period. Spending a majority of our time indoors, in our “bubble” with just the other people in our household for company. Some people are enjoying the down time and seizing the opportunity to learn a new hobby or dust off some board games or puzzles to pass the time.
Others find it more challenging to forego their typical routines, including some of the people we support. We are doing what we can to ensure continuity of support for people, including getting out and about if that’s what someone needs to do to stay healthy and safe. We’ve heard of many people who are going for long walks with their staff, getting some exercise and fresh air even if they can’t go to the jobs or recreation facilities or coffee shops they normally visit.
Some of our staff are supporting people in their homes, and this has taken some adjusting as well. In some places the live-in caregiver is also home during the day, and so we’ve had to find new ways of interacting and sharing the space so everyone stays safe. A few of our staff are going into the person’s private home or family homes to provide support there. This, too, requires some thoughtful planning ahead of time so we know who else is going to be in the home and that our staff have access to everything they need to stay safe.
Spectrum’s community inclusion and outreach staff are following guidelines for assessing the situation from day to day, including questions to ask of the person and family before going into a private home:
- What support does the person need each day? Some people may not need all of their usual support, or they might not need support every day.
- Does the person or anyone else in the household have a fever, cough or shortness of breath?
- If so, have they called their doctor or 811 for advice on what to do?
- If it’s not safe for staff to go inside, could they meet outside or visit remotely by phone or skype?
- For individuals who live alone, do they have enough basic supplies (food, medicine, cleaning supplies)? Do they need help getting any supplies? We have an emergency supply of some items at the office and if necessary we can arrange to deliver basic supplies to those in need.
If staff are showing symptoms of Covid-19 or any other illness, they are not coming to work. If we have another staff person who can fill in, we will consider this on an individual basis. If the individual or anyone else in the household is showing symptoms, we ask that you let us know ahead of time so we can discuss what needs to happen to keep everyone safe.
How are you passing the time at home? We’d love to hear your suggestions for things to do and ways to stay connected while we pass the time at home!