If your support worker has COVID-19
If your support worker gets COVID-19, it is recommended they stay home and isolate for at least 5 days, even if they only have mild symptoms, starting at Day 0. Day 0 is the day their symptoms started or when they tested positive.
The disability support organisation they are from is responsible for finding a replacement.
In some cases, they may only be able to provide essential services while your regular support worker recovers. Your support provider will check in with you about any changes.
If you would prefer that a family member or friend support you instead, discuss this with your disability support organisation.
If your carer has COVID-19
If you usually get support from a family member or friend, or you individually contract support people, make a plan for alternate support in case they get COVID-19 and are unable to care for you until they are better.
Options could include:
- another family member or friend providing care for you over this time
- a paid carer to be arranged through a care support agency
- contacting your local Needs Assessment Service Co-ordination service (NASC). If you receive disability funded support, they will put you in contact with a disability support provider.
If you live in the same home as your carer, and they are well enough to continue providing care, they can do so. They will need appropriate infection prevention control and personal protective equipment.
Make a plan for emergency care
If you receive support in your home, it is important to have a support plan. This should include your important health information and care routines.
If your regular carer becomes unwell and you need emergency care, this plan can be shared with the new carer. This means your care and support can continue safely.
Your disability support provider can help you create a plan. You can also use the emergency care planning tools available on the Carers New Zealand website.
There are a few things to consider, specific to COVID-19:
- tolerance with medication
- tolerance around needles, etc
- tolerance around masks and nasal prongs
- anticipated staffing/supervision requirements.
If your support worker or carer is unavailable
If you need urgent support and your support worker or carer is unavailable, you can call the dedicated COVID-19 disability helpline on 0800 11 12 13. Or you can text them on 8988.
This could be if:
- your support worker is unavailable and cannot provide the essential support you need
- you are unable to reach the organisation that normally provides your care
- there is no one available to provide the support you need.
The service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Between 8am to 8pm a person with experience or knowledge of disability will answer the call and assess the urgency of your situation and provide advice or assistance. After 8pm, calls will be answered by a trained member of the Healthline team.
The call centre will work with you to determine what needs to happen, how urgent your situation is and if medical or other emergency services are needed.
As always, if there is an emergency, or there is a threat to your life or property, call 111 immediately.
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