We’re committed to protecting the vulnerable from COVID-19.
We heard recently in the Disability Royal Commission public hearings about reports of support workers in Victoria exposing people with a disability to COVID-19. Stories like this concern us all. At Afea, we’re doing our best to minimise potential exposure of our Clients, Carers and staff to COVID-19.
According to the NDIS, we “have an obligation to make sure that any support or service that is required by a person with disability to maintain their health, wellbeing and safety is continued to be provided. It is expected that the way in which some supports and services are delivered will need to change.”
We have introduced the following precautions during this COVID-19 period:
- We have been following all of the recommendations and requirements of the government. This includes self-isolation after travelling or if we’re showing any flu-like symptoms.
- We have heavily invested in extra PPE such as masks, face shields and even full-body suits. In some cases, we are also using gloves and shoe coverings as an extra precaution. All of this extra PPE has been provided by Afea so our Carers or Clients aren’t out of pocket.
- We have asked that all staff get flu shots, and we have reimbursed the expense.
- We have created videos with instructions for Carers. Included in these videos are proper handwashing, using PPE correctly and social distancing.
- We have provided compulsory COVID-19 training for Carers.
- We now conduct initial assessments and meetings with new Clients remotely where possible.
- We have introduced remote services and shopping on behalf of the client (particularly at the height of lockdown).
- To ensure continuity of support for our clients, we’ve introduced A and B teams in the office and conduct most of our meetings remotely. We also check everyone’s temperatures and ask them to log their visit when entering the office.
We’re also very mindful of the impact this period is having on mental health. The isolation and health anxiety can take a toll on us all. Which is why we have introduced self-care measures for our Carers and staff.
Here’s what we’re doing to ensure the mental health of our staff, so our Clients remain in safe hands:
- We have created a private Facebook group for Carers and office staff to connect.
- Our leaders have conducted Facebook live streams to connect with Carers and answer questions on COVID-19. Included in these sessions were questions about how to look after your mental health and how to be mindful. We’ve also given suggestions on how Carers can deal with tough situations to make sure they’re looked after and are comfortable continuing services.
- We’ve had complimentary mindfulness sessions for all Afea staff via Zoom.
In this time of uncertainty, we all must do our best to take all the necessary COVID-19 precautions and look out for each other.