As the circumstances surrounding COVID-19 – or novel coronavirus – continue to evolve, it is becoming increasingly evident that this could be a long-term issue. Many businesses, as well as the wider community, are making suitable adjustments to help prevent the spread of the virus.
Care Support Network services will continue as normal, with small adjustments made to some face-to-face meetings. We are proactively working with our networks to provide support and planning to ensure our clients are assisted to manage during this time.
Plan Management and Support Coordination Services
Care Support Network is keeping a close eye on all updates regarding COVID-19, particularly with regard to our services and how it may affect our clients.
Plan Management and Support Coordination services continue as normal. We will also provide our clients and their service providers with additional information and assistance as needed over the coming weeks.
Precautionary Health and Safety Measures
In-Office Hygiene and Cleanliness
We are taking additional precautionary measures in our office to ensure that hygiene and cleanliness standards are being fulfilled. If you need to come into our office for any reason, please call ahead.
Meetings with Support Coordinators
In particular, our Support Coordinators, who regularly meet with clients, are being especially cautious to follow best practice hygiene guidelines. Their work continues as normal with the added discussion of helping clients prepare back up plans for their essential services. They can still meet in person or conduct meetings over the phone.
If any of our Support Coordinators are feeling unwell, they will not meet with clients in person. If our Support Coordinators have been in a high-risk area or have been in contact with someone who is confirmed to have contracted COVID-19, they have been instructed to self-isolate for 14 days or until they have received medical clearance. This means that appointments may be conducted over the phone instead.
For any of our clients who are feeling particularly anxious about the COVID-19 situation, our Support Coordinators are here to help. They can help to ensure that a plan is in place to ensure that relevant supports and equipment are accessible. This may even include a plan on how to manage food supplies or pet care if a client were to fall ill or require self-isolation.
If you are having difficulty accessing some items like soap and tissues, your Support Coordinator may be able to help you find alternative suppliers for these products. We also encourage you to stay in touch with your local supermarket to find out about special shopping periods for the elderly or people with disability; at the time of writing, Coles and Woolworths are open from 7am to 8am.
If you are a Care Support Network client with Support Coordination, a Support Coordinator will be in touch with you over the coming weeks to ensure you have the supports you need in place as well as access to any supplies or equipment you require.
We expect no interruption to the processing and payment of NDIS invoices due to the cloud-based systems that we have. Our team can easily work from home to continue to provide full support to our participants and providers.
We ask that if you are unable to assist a client with their support service that you please contact them with plenty of time for them to arrange an alternative if required. We would also appreciate it if you could also contact us.
How to Help Protect Yourself and Others
This is understandably an upsetting and anxiety-inducing time for many people, and at Care Support Network we want to help support our clients in any way possible. Ways that you can help protect yourself and others include:
- Practice good hygiene, including washing your hands regularly and thoroughly, avoid touching your face, cover your mouth and nose with your elbow or a tissue when you sneeze or cough, and regularly disinfect frequently used surfaces and objects
- Practice social distancing, including avoiding physical contact with others, limit your exposure to large groups of people, and avoid non-essential outings or gatherings
- If you have any workers coming into your home, make sure they wash their hands with soap, including any door handles they have touched on the way in.
What To Do If You Feel Unwell
If you begin to feel unwell and develop a fever, shortness of breath, a cough or respiratory illness you should seek immediate medical attention.
- You can call the Coronavirus Triage hotline on 1800 020 080.
- The DHH website also has a questionnaire you can fill out using this link… https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus-self-assessment
- Call your GP
- Please notify us ASAP
Call ahead to your GP or hospital emergency department and describe your symptoms before entering the clinic or hospital.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are there meal preparation and delivery supports available?
The NDIS will work to ensure that participants receive the support required to stay safe and access supplies like food deliveries. You can opt to use your Core Supports budget to access this support. Keep in mind that the NDIS can change your budget via the unscheduled plan review process.
In addition, the NDIS encourages providers to support you in remaining safe. This means your provider may need to do some different tasks for you, like grocery shopping or filling prescriptions at the pharmacy.
My provider cannot provide services. How do I ensure I’m not charged?
The NDIS encourages you to talk to your provider first and find out why they can’t deliver services. All providers have been encouraged to continue providing support—it is also a condition of registration. If you cannot move forward with your provider, contact your Support Coordinator directly.
Can I redirect funds to family or friends to provide support that would usually be provided by support worker?
No. At the moment, you cannot use NDIS funds to pay friends or family members.
Will my plan reviews still take place while in isolation?
While the number of face-to-face meetings is being reduced to comply with the Australian Government’s guidelines around health and safety in the wake of COVID-19, plan reviews can still take place. These types of meeting can be conducted in other ways, such as via phone, email or video.
Can I temporary change my plan from Agency to Self or Plan managed for greater flexibility?
Yes. You can change your plan. This will require a plan review.
If we haven’t touched on your question above, the NDIS website has answers to a range of other frequently asked questions.
Care Support Network would like to thank our entire community in advance for their support, patience and understanding during this confusing and difficult time. We will continue to do our best to provide our clients with the support they need to cope with the challenges the COVID-19 situation brings.
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