Everyone throughout the entire country is potentially at risk of catching the COVID-19 virus. So it’s essential for all of us to understand how to keep ourselves, and our loved ones, safe. But this is even more important for support workers, who are looking after some of the most vulnerable members of society. So we’ve put together a list of five things every support worker needs to be aware of during these uncertain times.
1. Wash your hands
Yes, we know it’s been said repeatedly, but this is such an important point that it simply can’t be overstated. We’re most likely to pass on the virus through physical contact, so washing hands frequently, for at least two minutes at a time, is the single best preventative measure against its spread.
2. Clean your phone regularly
Whether you’re looking out for care home jobs for learning disabilities in Basingstoke, or you’re just scrolling through the latest news reports, or even chatting with friends and family, the chances are it’s happening on your mobile handset. We’re all relying on our phones more than ever before during lockdown and social distancing.
Yet although we can be scrupulous about cleaning our hands and surfaces that we’ve touched, the majority of us neglect to disinfect our mobile phones and tablets regularly. But they’re potential hot spots for viruses and bacteria to thrive, so clean your mobile regularly, as well as any physical telephone handsets in use.
3. Tell service users as much as is appropriate
The age and capacity of your individual service users should determine how much information you pass on about the coronavirus pandemic. Many people living with the advanced stages of dementia, or with severe learning disabilities, for example, may not understand the concept of staying at home to stay safe.
It’s important not to frighten anyone with information that they’re unable to process fully. Yet most service users will be aware that life is in some way different from usual. So think before you speak, and plan in advance how you’ll approach the subject of coronavirus.
4. Keep boredom at bay
Boredom is a tiresome state for any of us, but for those with autism or learning difficulties, it can be particularly challenging. So plan lots of activities, as well as some quiet pursuits that encourage calm and relaxation.
5. Make time for yourself
It can be all too easy to neglect your own personal needs during times of crisis. But burning out won’t do you, or the people who depend on you, any favours. So take time to relax and unwind away from work. Whether that’s spending time chilling out in front of the TV or treating yourself to a takeaway, remember that you need to be kind to yourself. The more relaxed and calm you are, the better you will be able to support others during your working hours.