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20 May 2020

Building confidence to go out as COVID-19 restrictions are eased.

With many of us spending the past couple of months at home, the easing of COVID-19 restrictions has brought about new questions like “when is the right time to go out again?”

This is an important question and as restrictions ease (check your state or territory for the latest information) it is understandable that there may be uncertainty around what you should do.

Today we’ll take a look at some of the things you should consider when thinking about breaking self-isolation and how to overcome anxiety about going out of the house.

In your own time.

The government advice for people with a disability remains consistent: that you should continue to do everything you can to protect yourself and others. This includes:

  • Practising good hygiene
  • Physical distancing
  • Avoiding public gatherings
  • If you are sick, stay at home.

If you are at greater risk due to a chronic condition or weakened immune system, you should also:

  • Stay at home
  • Avoid non-essential travel
  • Avoid contact with others
  • Consider getting medications and other essential items delivered.

It’s important that you only go out if you have assessed any potential risks based on your personal circumstances and health with your doctor. If you are unsure, set up a telehealth consultation to talk through any questions or concerns.

Start with something you enjoy.

If you have been cleared by your doctor but are anxious about going out of your home after so long, start with something you enjoy and that feels safe for you such as a visit to the beach with a support worker or a trip to the local park.

Go prepared.

Try to avoid touching high use areas such as fences, gates or park benches. Carrying your own supplies of hand sanitiser and/or wipes means you’ll be able to quickly sanitise your hands if you do have to touch high-contact surfaces.

Easing into social interactions.

Returning to social interactions may be particularly challenging for people with social anxiety, as well as anyone who has concerns for their health or the health of loved ones.  If you have the go-ahead from your doctor to see a friend or family member but are anxious about staying safe, the below tips might help.

  1. Only see one person at a time
  2. Start with a friend or family member who understands your concerns and who is also limiting their interactions
  3. Go to a place where there is plenty of open space and fresh air. For example, meet at a park and stay 1.5 metres apart.
  4. If going to another person’s home, interact in an outdoor space like a courtyard, stay 1.5 metres apart and be sure to wash/sanitise your hands after leaving
  5. Avoid enclosed places or places where there are a lot of people.

Communicate your expectations.

When arranging to see a friend or family member, communicate your expectations in advance. For example, tell them you will not be hugging or shaking hands and that it is vital that physical distancing is maintained.

Continue to follow COVID-19 hygiene advice.

Even though some restrictions are easing, the government’s COVID-19 hygiene advice remains in place.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water
  • Use alcohol-based sanitiser if soap and water is unavailable
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
  • Avoid public gatherings
  • Clean and disinfect objects you use often such as keys, mobile phone and wallet
  • Use tap to pay for purchases instead of cash
  • Stay 1.5 metres from other people where possible
  • If you are unwell, stay at home.

We’re here to help.

The Leap in! Crew is here to help you navigate the NDIS including all the COVID-19 related changes that have occurred recently.

If you’re having trouble finding support workers, working with a plan manager like Leap in! means you have the freedom to use both registered and unregistered providers. Find out more by calling 1300 05 78 78 or chat with us online.