In-Home and Community Supports during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic
During the current pandemic, we are committed to continuing to support customers to live independently in their own home. But we need to take extra steps to ensure the health and wellbeing of both customers and staff.
So before your Support Worker visits you at home, they will be asking you a few simple health questions. They will probably call you on the phone beforehand, but may also ask you some questions at the front door before they come in.
Your Support Worker will ask you whether you have recently travelled overseas, whether you have been in contact with someone who has Coronavirus, and whether you have any particular flu-like symptoms. If you share a home with other people, he or she will also ask you if anyone in the home is self-isolating.
There are no right or wrong answers to the health screening questions. Our interest is only to do everything we can to ensure that both our customers and staff remain safe and healthy. This also means that our staff are not transmitting illnesses through the community as they go from appointment to appointment.
We know that many of our customers receiving support at home also receive other Northcott services. These may include learning new skills or taking up new hobbies that require them to leave their own home and visit other places. We respect and support every individual customer’s choice to participate in their usual activities as much as possible.
Supporting you under the new rules
With new rules (Public Health Order) now applying that restrict people gathering and moving around the community, we want to assure you that we are legally permitted to continue Community Support services.
The new rules prohibit more than 2 people gathering in public, except for members of the same household. Under the rules we are able to provide support for you (with as many support workers as you usually need) to be in the community to:
• Attend a medical or therapy appointment
• Attend a day program (like Life Skills or Vocational Skills)
• Go to an educational institution where the customer cannot be educated at home
• Go to a shop to get food, medicine, or other essentials.
Ensuring you are safe in the community
We realise that some people in the community don’t understand how the new rules apply to disability services, so we have taken some steps to help that process.
All of our support workers taking people into the community will carry a letter identifying them as Northcott staff and explaining how the rules work. They will also be wearing something featuring the Northcott logo and can be visually identified as an employee of Northcott.
We will continue to follow social distancing requirements whilst out in the community, as well as following hygiene and infection control measures.
We are also providing a similar letter to our customers so that they can produce this if asked by the police and for when they are going into shops or other approved activities.