Despite the easing of COVID-19 restrictions, it still may take some time before face-to-face services, group programs and activities return to normal.
The great news is providers have been getting creative about how they deliver their services.
Today, we look at some of the ways providers have adapted their services for the changing environment and a few of the alternatives currently being offered.
Digital group activities.
With day programs and group social programs suspended, one of our provider partners, Claire’s Cottage, has increased their one-on-one programs and put together a digital social program that has quickly gained popularity with their service users.
With social support activities being undertaken from the safety of their own homes, participants are enjoying taking digital cooking classes, stretching out with pet yoga, craft challenges and virtual dance sessions.
These virtual social activities continue to assist users to achieve goals like gaining independent living skills.
Home delivered meals.
Home delivered meal plans are a good alternative to online grocery shopping. Our provider partners Habitat + More offer individuals and service providers an easy to use online meal planning program.
If you received funding in your NDIS Plan for food delivery services before the coronavirus situation, then the delivery fees may be claimable.
The NDIS will not fund the cost of your grocery items as these are considered an everyday item, not specifically related to your disability.
For more information on when meal preparation and delivery might be included in your plan, here’s an article we wrote called, Food for thought: Meals and the NDIS.
Digital therapy sessions.
From 29 March 2020, Medicare has been subsidising telehealth services, making it much easier for general practitioners and other allied health professionals to offer phone and video services. More on telehealth appointments here.
One of our providers National Occupational Therapy, explains what you will need to undertake a telehealth therapy appointment.
“To participate in telehealth services you will need an internet connection and at least one of the following:
- A device such as an iPad or similar (Lenovo Tablet, Samsung Galaxy Tablet, etc)
- A laptop with a camera and microphone (or option to use plug in headphones with inbuilt microphone)
- Desktop PC with camera and microphone (or plug in camera and microphone)
- A phone with camera capability.”
If you do not have access to a laptop, computer or smartphone you can use a regular phone to arrange and participate in telehealth appointments with your service providers.
Vehicle maintenance and modification.
Our provider partner Auto Extras has adopted additional procedures for a contactless booking service for vehicle maintenance and modification assessments.
They offer free local pickup and return of your vehicle so that you can remain at home.
All vehicles are provided with the following safety measures:
- Disposable wrap applied to the steering wheel and gear stick
- Disposable seat cover to remain on seat until return of vehicle
- A full disinfect clean of all surfaces worked on.
You can take a look out our previous article on Vehicle modifications if you’d like to know more about vehicle modifications eligibility and funding.
Positive changes in other sectors.
Mainstream services are making changes too, like more audio description on streaming services.
Streaming services that offer audio description include:
- Disney+ (availability varies by title and language)
- Netflix (for most Netflix original titles) Read about newly released access features in this MSN article
- Stan (selected titles across most devices).
The move to digital connections has created more demand for people who may need help with accessing online services. Paying bills, shopping online – these experiences are new for many and help is available.
Our provider partner Digital World Training offer workshops and weekly support sessions for all ages and ability levels including:
- Introduction to computers
- Understanding and using online systems (mygov, banking, ebay, shopping)
- Find the technology that suits your life
- Introduction to email
- Introduction to Facebook and how to stay safe
- What is the internet and how to use it safely?
We’re here to help.
If you have any questions about how to ensure you get the right services and supports, the Leap in! Crew can help.