It’s no secret that 2020 has been a strange and unprecedented year.
As we all become accustomed to the ‘new normal’ in attempt to flatten the curve of global pandemic COVID-19 (coronavirus) it is understandably an unexpected and daunting time for people all over the globe.
With social distancing and self-isolation becoming necessary, especially for older people more susceptible to being affected by COVID-19, there have been adverse consequences leading to many, feeling too scared to get the help they need.
With many people their Home Care Package seems like the last thing on their mind, but in reality, it could be the most crucial time to accept the package and get the care you need. Or alternatively ensure that you are getting the services you need from your existing package, to live comfortably and safely at home during this time.
With no cure or vaccine for COVID-19, the Australian Government and Home Care Package Providers are working together during this changing situation to meet the evolving needs of clients as the virus unfolds.
We want to give you some tips for how to use your Home Care Package to your advantage.
Ideas for using your Home Care Package funds to continue receiving care during the COVID-19 crisis:
Rather than reducing or ceasing your care services, it may be a good time to think about how your support team can be best used to rally around you. Consider how they could provide reassuring company during a time of stress.
There are a range of services you can access without having to physically interact with others and still maintain social distancing.
You can also get creative with how to use your package to support your needs, stay independent, and maintain your general health and wellbeing over the next few months. Here are some ideas to get you started:
1. Additional cleaning for your home
You may wish to increase the number of hours you use for cleaning to ensure your home and environment is maintained in a safe, hygienic and clean manner.
2. Items to Support you
Think about using your package funds to purchase some practical items to help you to feel safe, independent and supported at home.
3. Home monitoring
4. Home technology screens
which help to keep people connected while they’re social distancing, for example mylumin.org
5. Internet based programs
These are popping up all over the place! You can join an online exercise group, choir, conversation group, cooking class, meditation class, and more…the list is endless!
6. Order prepared meals
You can order these to be home delivered to your door, to minimise the need to queue at the supermarket.
Are there jobs around the house you have been putting off for years? Perhaps a support worker can help you with some of those jobs, like cleaning out cupboards and spare rooms!?
8. Learn a new skill online
There are heaps of programs that can help you learn and stay engaged and involved in the world around you.
9. Become Tech-savvy
Pay a support worker with technology skills to teach you how to use basic technology. It’s very affordable and can help you stay connected with others who cannot visit for various reasons. Check out mable.com.au or www.lively.org.au
10. Get your Shopping Delivered
Could your Care or Support worker go to the shops for you and pick up some groceries?
11. Garden Goodness
Have your garden maintained and well looked after. This way, you don’t need to have direct contact with your support worker, but can still ensure your house is maintained.
12. Goods and Equipment
You may be able to purchase some goods and equipment that you might need to stay safe and healthy at this time. This could include: mobility aids, wheelchairs, toiletry support and more, depending on your individual situation.
13. Have some books delivered
Have a care or support worker visit the library and get some books for you to read.
Staying Socially Connected when Isolating
1. Phone a Friend
It might seem obvious but a great idea when you’re feeling lonely is giving a friend, family member or neighbour a call.
2. Check in with your Neighbours over the Fence
There have been great stories of the kindness of neighbours during this period of time. Stories of neighbours dropping notes at each other’s doors, offering to buy more vulnerable people groceries or just chatting over the fence.
3. Video Call
There are lots of different ways you can do this.
If you would like more information on how to use any of these tools, try reaching out to a family member to get them to explain it to you. Alternatively you could use one of the tutorials below.
Apps you can use to Video Call and tutorials for how to use them:
Facebook Messenger: https://www.facebook.com/help/messenger-app/1414800065460231?helpref=topq
4. Join a Group on the Internet
There are plenty of groups on Facebook that you could join. You can find like-minded people who have similar interests. Try searching something you’re interested in or looking at groups in your area. A good one to consider is ‘Kindness Pandemic’ where people post acts of kindness and positivity they witness. There are also Book Clubs you can join, Knitting Clubs, some Neighbourhoods even have Facebook groups.
5. Use Social Media
Social Media is a great way of keeping up with friends and family, wherever they live. If you don’t have Facebook, it might be a good time to try asking one of your family members to help set up a page for you. They could also help you add all of your friends and family so you can keep in touch.
Activities you can try from Home
1. Brain Training apps to keep your mind strong.
Stay occupied and keep that brain sharp by playing games on your tablet or smart phone.
Apps to Try:
- Lumosity: https://www.lumosity.com/en/
- Evelate: https://www.elevateapp.com/
- Memorado https://memorado.com/
Now is the time to do that 5000-piece puzzle you’ve been putting off. If you run out of puzzles, try a puzzle app on your tablet or smart phone. Not quite the real thing, but a good way to stay entertained.
Apps to Try:
3. Read, Read, Read
Reading is a great way of learning things, entertaining yourself and keeping occupied. Read everything you own? There are apps you can use on your tablet or phone to access books. While most of us do love a hardcopy (us included), apps are also a great option to use from home if you run out of physical books to read.
Apps to Try:
- iBook: https://apps.apple.com/au/app/apple-books/id364709193
- Amazon Kindle: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.amazon.kindle
- NOOK: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/h/nook/apps?st=AFF&SID=Barnes+%26+Noble+-+Top+100%3A+Book+Bestsellers&2sid=Skimlinks_5647096_NA&sourceId=AFFSkimlinks&cjevent=727694cd7f8e11ea807f00900a1c0e12&dpid=tekz25v83
4. Learn a Language
If you’ve learnt a language before or have never tried, this could be a good time to start.
Apps to Try:
- Duo Lingo: https://www.duolingo.com/
It’s a great app that will allow you to learn languages pretty easily. You can pick from a variety of different languages. Impress the grandkids with a new sentence.
Podcasts are similar to a radio programme, except instead of tuning in to a frequency, you listen to a recording either online or via an app on your smartphone. Various companies and individuals will record conversations, interviews, stories and more, and then make them available to the public to listen to whenever they want. It’s incredibly convenient.
Here are some we would recommend:
Let’s Ask Gran
Let’s Ask Gran is an innovative podcast that breaks down stereotypes about ageing while having fun conversations on really just about anything. We started this podcast in order to share conversations, stories and laughs across generations.
You can listen to this on the Let’s Get Care website:
TED Talks are short and sweet speeches that will have you thinking differently. They started out covering ‘Technology, Entertainment, Design’, but now they also bring you new ideas from every topic imaginable. Including science, sociology, history and beyond.
You can listen here:
Stuff you missed in history class
This one’s for those of us who love history, but also for those who wish they’d been more engaged in History lessons back at school. ‘Stuff You Missed in History Class’ is hosted by two history enthusiasts, Tracy and Holly, that bring you historical stories you may have never heard about.