There is nothing more important than your well-being or the well-being of your children and family. Since COVID-19 has changed how we operate day-to-day, you may be feeling overwhelmed with how to adjust to your new normal, especially if you have pre-existing medical conditions that make you or your family susceptible to infection or getting sick.
As a parent or guardian of someone with a disability, or if you have a disability yourself, you know the constant stress of appointments, health scares and checks, and doing everything in your power to avoid illness in your home. These stresses have only been heightened over the last six months.
While there are a lot of unknowns about the Coronavirus and who might be most at risk, it’s important to take the following precautions to ensure that you and your family stay safe while staying home. Keep reading for tips to stay healthy and maintain a routine during these uncertain times.
Six Months in: What Now?
The country has been in what feels like an altered state of reality since March. Six months later, we’re collectively asking the question, “What now?” Families and individuals with special needs feel the strain of prolonged social distancing, routines that are dismantled, and a lack of in-person socialization. The good news is that you can stay safe and still provide the things they need to continue developing, learning, and growing; it just takes a little creativity and planning.
Create a Support Team
Just because we are in the middle of a pandemic, doesn’t mean you have to forego the services you or your family are receiving. Now, more than ever, fostering a sense of normalcy is important. Surrounding yourself with a supportive and willing care team is a great first step in providing stability and routine for you or your loved one. You can trust the screened caregivers on the Joshin app to respect your guidelines around health and safety, while also providing the compassionate care you or your child needs.
For extra support, connect with us on Facebook.
There you will find our community of families who are also booking care during COVID.
Ask Caregivers to Wear a Face Covering
Now that we’re all having to find a new normal, thanks to COVID-19, many individuals are reintegrating caregiving services inside the home. If you have caregivers coming into your home, you can protect both them and your family by asking that they wear a face covering or mask. Since masks are proven to reduce the likeliness of getting sick, we recommend messaging your caregiver in the app before your care date to request they follow these guidelines.
Ways to ask your caregiver to wear a mask before a care date:
- Hi! I would love to schedule a care date with you for Thursday at 2:00pm. I would feel most comfortable if you wore a mask in order to keep everyone safe and healthy. Does this work for you?
- I’m looking forward to our care date on Thursday! I wanted to mention that it’s important that you wear a face covering while in our home. This will help keep everyone healthy! Thank you for understanding.
Balance Virtual Learning with In-Person Socialization
While some schools have reopened, many have not. And even if schools are offering an in-person option, many parents are choosing the virtual learning route, especially if their child is high-risk. If you have chosen a virtual classroom/homeschooling option, think of ways to balance virtual learning with in-person socialization. Emotional health is equally as important as physical health, especially when you are quarantining during the Coronavirus. Social connections not only foster normalcy but actually benefit our overall health. While you’re staying safe at home, don’t forget to be social while social distancing.
How Caregivers can help virtually:
- Virtual learning & homework support
- Bill pay & paperwork completion
- Daily check-ins & scheduled reminders
- Companionship through virtual chats
- Movie watching & virtual games
- Errands & contactless drop offs
Every family has to make decisions about how comfortable they are with in-person socialization. There are many ways to interact with others while still maintaining a safe distance. Outdoor activities are fantastic ways to have face-to-face interaction while still keeping at least six feet apart. You can meet at a park, bring your own crayons and paper, and spend time drawing with friends from opposite ends of a picnic table. Another option is spending time going on walks with friends while keeping safe distances. There are many factors that influence health and well-being, socializing with others being one of them. Everyone in your household will benefit from safe in-person socialization.
How Caregivers can help In-Person:
- Proactive health and safety practices
- Homework and virtual learning support
- Pod learning
- Socially distance walks and bike rides
Establish Routine that Mimics a Pre-COVID Lifestyle
When you’re at home all day, every day, it’s easy to forego your typical schedule and do whatever it takes to make it through the day. But routine is going to be key for creating a stable, comfortable environment for your child, and you’ll benefit from this as well.
Take advantage of a pre-existing schedule. Keep meal and snack times the same. If they have reading time first thing in the morning at school, do the same thing at home. Try to get outside at the same time every day. This routine will help you know what to expect each day and provide more structure, helping them remain emotionally stable, happy, and feel a sense of normalcy, even though we’re still far from “normal.”
How Caregivers can help with your routine:
- Morning and afternoon check-ins
- Daily homework/paperwork help
- Schedule and routine organization
Contact your therapists and ask if they provide in-home services due to the pandemic. You or your child are already familiar with a therapist, seeing them regularly will help them maintain that relationship—in addition to receiving the services they need. Choosing in-home therapy allows you to reduce the risk of virus exposure while still reaping the emotional, mental, and physical benefits of therapy services. If your therapy clinics don’t offer in-home services, they might meet you in a park, your yard, or other open-air space.
Make a Plan
If you or your loved one contract the coronavirus, it’s important to have a care plan in place. Creating a care plan takes leg work on the front end, but once you have it, you’ll be so glad—especially if you need it.
Your care plan should summarize health conditions, medications, healthcare providers, emergency contacts, and any other pertinent information or procedures that you want to include. During times of crisis, it can be easy to forget to make calls, gather supplies, etc. If you have a plan and write everything down, you’ll be able to stay much more organized and calm than if you try to handle a medical crisis after it starts.
You want what’s best for you, your family or your loved ones. If you’re reading this, that much is certain. But we all need help knowing what steps to take to work toward the best possible outcome for everyone. Hopefully after reading our tips, you feel better equipped and empowered to stay safe while you’re staying at home during COVID-19.