Reduce your potential exposure to COVID-19
Everyone with disability and their household should follow the WHO guidance on basic protection measures during the COVID-19 outbreak. If you have any difficulty following these basic protection measures (for example, you are not able to access a handbasin or sink to wash your hands regularly), work with your family, friends and caregivers to identify adaptations.
− Avoid crowded environments to the maximum extent possible and minimize physical contact with other people. Consider making necessary visits outside of peak time periods. Take advantage of special opening hours for people with disability where these are offered.
− Make purchases online or request assistance from family, friends, or caregivers to avoid needing to access crowded environments.
− Consider gathering urgent items you need such as food, cleaning supplies, medication or medical supplies to reduce the frequency with which you need to access public places.
− Work from home if possible, especially if you typically work in a busy or crowded environment.
− Ensure that assistive products, if used, are disinfected frequently; these include wheelchairs, walking canes, walkers, transfer boards, white canes, or any other product that is frequently handled and used in public spaces.
Put a plan in place to ensure continuation of the care and support you need
− If you rely on caregivers, consider increasing the pool of those you can call upon, in preparation of one or more becoming unwell or needing to self-isolate.
- If you organize caregivers through an agency, find out what contingency measures they have in place to
compensate for a potential workforce shortage. You may want to talk to family and friends about what additional support they can provide, and the scenarios in which you may need to call upon them.
− Identify relevant organizations in your community that you can access if you need help.
Prepare your household for the instance you should contract COVID-19
− Make sure those in your household, including the friends and family you trust, know of any important information they would need should you become unwell. This may include information about your health insurance, your medication, and the care needs of any of your dependants (children, elderly parents or pets).
− Make sure everybody in your household knows what they should do should you contract COVID-19 or require assistance.
− If they are not already connected, introduce people in your support network so that they can communicate effectively should you become unwell.
− Know the telephone number of relevant services and hotlines, should you have questions or require non-urgent medical assistance.
The mental and physical health of household members and caregivers
Follow the WHO guidance on mental health considerations and guidance on managing existing noncommunicable diseases during the COVID-19 outbreak.
-If anyone in the household is symptomatic of the virus, call an emergency number. The person needs to be isolated and instructed to wear a mask, and to access testing as soon as possible. All surfaces need to be disinfected, and everyone in the household needs to be monitored for symptoms. If possible, anyone with an underlying health condition or reduced immunity needs to be moved to a separate location until the completion of isolation periods.