There’s no denying we’re living in unprecedented and challenging times. The far-reaching impact of COVID-19 has affected us all on a global scale. While the health implications are at the forefront of our minds, Catholic Homes has also acknowledged how our work, personal and home lives have been affected.
As we continue to care for our residents, clients and staff, we also acknowledge the challenges that many face while confined to our homes, especially for those living alone.
Here are a few ways to care for your wellbeing during the COVID-19 pandemic:
Increasing your social connectedness can significantly improve mental health. Checking in on each other can reduce feelings of isolation and there many ways to stay connected including email, social media, Skype, FaceTime, Zoom, video conference, online community groups, phone, text message, postcard and by letter. Many of our carers have been helping our residents with their letter writing and Australia Post is still operating as usual and they also offer online shopping so you don’t even need to step inside the shop to buy your stamps.
Working from home
Thanks to technology working remotely is a possibility for many and to ensure the health and safety of our valued staff, where possible we have enabled our staff to work remotely from home. In accordance with SafeWork Australia guidelines, its importance to ensure your home office is well ventilated, the lighting is adequate, there’s no excessive noise and walkways are clear and free of trip hazards such as electrical cords. Your chair should be comfortable and desk or table at a comfortable height. Ideally, the top of the screen should be sitting at or slightly below eye level, positioned to avoid glare and with a viewing distance of 35-37cm.
Staying at home doesn’t necessarily mean not going outside. Combining exercise and fresh air are important for both physical and mental health while maintaining muscle strength and fitness. You can still get out in the garden and those lucky enough to have the companionship of a dog should continue taking them for walks. Allied Health services including physiotherapy, podiatry and occupational therapy are deemed essential and you can still go for a walk, run, bike ride and workout while abiding by physical distancing rules.
Where possible, limit the amount of times you have to go to the shops or go during the quieter times. Many are taking advantage of the community hours available to seniors, disabled and healthcare workers.
Or consider online shopping and organising home delivery. Certain supermarkets offer priority online shopping to those over the age of 70 where once you’ve placed your order, they’ll collect your items and deliver them to your doorstep with zero contact. Don’t forget to support your local independent shops too as many bakeries, butchers and fresh food outlets will also deliver while others will offer click and collect to minimise the amount of time you need to spend in the store.
You can access Meals on Wheels through your local service provider but there many private operators out there too such as Home Chef, YouFoodz and Hello Fresh delivers the ingredients and recipes to make tasty and nutritious meals. For the gourmands among you, your favourite restaurants mightn’t be able offer dine in experiences, but many of them will deliver gourmet meals to your doorstep.
Don’t forget to remain vigilant. Stay at least 1.5 metres away from others, limit the surfaces you touch, avoid touching your face and use hand sanitiser in the absence of being able to regularly wash your hands. Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or into your elbow and dispose of tissues and wash your hands immediately. Avoid close contact with anyone who has a cold or flu-like symptoms and if you start to feel unwell please contact your GP.
A Home Care package can help with all of the above and Catholic Homes offers personalised Home Care https://www.catholichomes.com/our-services/home-care/ to help you to keep living independently in your home for as long as possible. We offer four levels of packages and services are customised to your needs including nursing, meals, domestic help, transportation to appointments, outings, health and wellbeing. To enquire about a Home Care package contact the Home Care team on 1300 244 000 or email email@example.com
State and Commonwealth authorities have a range of resources and more information:
- 24-hour Coronavirus Health Information Line 1800 020 080 or visit www.health.gov.au/health-topics/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov
- Australian Government Department of Health website www.health.gov.au
- Health Direct helpline 1800 300 243
- Public Health Information line on 1800 004 599
In addition, the Commonwealth Department of Health has information, resources and facts regarding the coronavirus at this site www.health.gov.au/health-topics/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov