Compass Disability Covid Assist Somerset


You must stay at home, unless you have a reasonable excuse, here are some examples:

  • To attend medical appointments – please don’t put these off, it could save your life!

  • To get groceries, prescriptions or other essential supplies – unless you have been advised to shield, then you must try to find alternative arrangements to get your essential supplies.

  • To go to work if you can’t work from home, or to volunteer.

  • To access your childcare or support bubble, for further information on bubbles https://www.gov.uk/guidance/making-a-support-bubble-with-another-household#what-a-support-bubble-is

  • To attend to animal welfare e.g. groomer where it is necessary for the welfare of the dog, to feed your livestock etc.

  • To exercise as long as you do so alone or with one other person who you live with or who is in your support bubble.

  • To go to your place of worship, but don’t mix with those who you don’t live with or are not in your support or childcare bubble (singing is not advised).

If you do go outside your home, please ensure you follow the latest advice.

  • Hands – wash or sanitise your hands frequently

  • Face – wear a face covering the covers your mouth and nose whenever you are near other people (or all of the time)

  • Space – keep your distance, at least 2 meters

To keep up to date on the latest information and sources of support we have created a Facebook group so you can also post questions, let us know how you are getting on and share your hints and tips for getting through the pandemic: 
https://www.facebook.com/groups/163416351908055

If you would like to read the full lock down information from the Government please click here…
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/national-lockdown-stay-at-home?priority-taxon=774cee22-d896-44c1-a611-e3109cce8eae#when-you-can-leave-home

Or Mencap has created an easy read version available here: 
https://www.mencap.org.uk/sites/default/files/2021-01/Jan%20lockdown%20SS%20-%20Final%20Version.pdf

If the information you are looking for is not here please get in touch and we will get back to you. Most of our staff are home working, so your patience is appreciated.

You can call 01823 255905 and leave a message (don’t forget to leave your telephone number slowly and clearly).

You can email info@compassdisability.org.uk



Questions and Answers…


1. I am going crazy because I have to shield again, what can I do to help myself?

  • Look after your body - try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, drink enough water and keep moving or exercising. Avoid smoking, drugs or drinking too much alcohol. You could try exercising indoors, as there are lots of free online classes. Or try an easy 10-minute home workout. https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/sitting-exercises/

  • Keep in touch with people you trust, a causal conversation can really help you to maintain healthy relationships which is really good for your overall wellbeing. Use phone, text, social media. It may seem that you haven’t got anything exciting to say, but you may be surprised how quickly a conversation grows. You may also be helping someone else not feel so isolated or alone.

  • Find ways to still do the things you enjoy. Make an effort to focus on your favourite hobby if it is something you can still do at home. Or start a new hobby: read, write, do crosswords or jigsaws, bake, or try drawing and painting. Whatever it is, find something that works for you. If you cannot think of anything you like doing, try learning something new at home. There are lots of free tutorials and courses online. You can still stay social at home by joining others online: book clubs, pub quizzes and music concerts are just a few of the things to try.

  • Mindline24 is a telephone service that can put you in touch with other agencies who may be able to help including Peer volunteers who have personal experience of mental health issues. 01823 276892

2. I have a direct payment, but my PA says she can’t come in to care for me because her child’s school is closed, what can I do?

  • Talk to you direct payment advisor or support service.

  • Your PA is a key worker, so the child’s school should offer a place during lockdown.

  • Ask your PA if they need a letter from you confirming that they are a key worker.

  • If the PA declines to send the child to school then this may be classed as unpaid parental leave and you will need to source additional cover.

3. I need to catch a bus to the supermarket, but I have been advised to shield?

  • Many local communities have set-up local groups to help people who have to shield this includes things like going to a supermarket or picking up prescriptions – you can find them on local social media pages.

  • Village Agents may also be able to help, you get in touch with them via https://somersetagents.org/ or 01823 331 222

  • Many supermarkets offer priority delivery slots to those shielding

  • You should avoid public transport if at all possible and shop locally where you can. When you really can’t avoid it try to go at the quieter times and always keep your face covering on and hand sanitise at every opportunity.

4. I am 65 and have been told to shield, when will I get the vaccine?

  • In Somerset some people have already started to receive the vaccine, those living in care homes and front line care workers will be offered the vaccine first.

  • Then it will be those over 80 years old, then those over 75

  • Then it will be those who are 70 years and over along with those who are considered extremely critically vulnerable

  • According the omni vaccine queue calculator you might get the first does of the vaccine sometime between mid-February and mid-March (https://www.omnicalculator.com/health/vaccine-queue-uk)

5. I have lost my job and I am keen to be helpful, where can I volunteer?

6. Is there any support local to me as I live in a village?

  • Village Agents may also be able to help, you get in touch with them via https://somersetagents.org/ or 01823 331 222

  • Local Facebook pages may have offers of help or support with things like getting prescriptions or do a bit of grocery shopping

  • There is also a search function on https://covidmutualaid.org/local-groups/ which lists local community support

  • If you have an urgent need and can’t find what you need there is also the Somerset Coronavirus Helpline on 0300 790 6275

7. Everything is online but my mum doesn’t have the internet, how can she access support?

  • While many services are using technology more than ever, there are still telephone contacts available like Mindline 01823 276892 or the Somerset Coronavirus Helpline on 0300 790 6275.

  • You can also request support on her behalf and ask for someone to call her (with your mum’s permission).

  • Somerset Direct can also help direct you to appropriate organisations 0300 123 2224.

8. What is a Zoom group and how do you attend?

  • A Zoom group is an internet based virtual space that allows video calling to single individuals or groups of people – a conference call with videos.

  • It can be used for social, work or school.

  • You can join with just a microphone..

  • You will need an internet connect.

  • You will need to either access via your web browser or download a free app.

  • If you want to create a group yourself, Zoom gives step by step instructions.

  • If you want to join an existing group, ask the organiser to send you a link.

9. My mental health is really suffering and I am feeling really low, who can help me?

10. I can’t get a supermarket delivery slot, but I don’t feel safe going to the supermarket what are my options?

If you have been advised to shield:

  • Many supermarkets have priority slots but you may need to contact them directly to find out how to access.

  • Click and collect is an alternative to doorstep deliveries.

  • Find out if there are any local businesses offering grocery deliveries.

  • Check local Facebook pages to see if there are any volunteers who could collect for you.

  • Maybe ask friends or neighbours to add to their shopping.

If you have not been advised to shield but are worried about getting covid-19 at the supermarket then consider:

  • Going to smaller stores

  • Going at quieter times (Google maps can tell you when the quieter times are).

  • Remember to keep your distance, wear a face covering and sanitise your hand frequently.

  • Don’t touch things unnecessarily.

  • Keep calm.

11. I miss my friends/family so much – is there any way that I can spend time with them?

  • There are lots of technological ways to spend time with friends and family, while it may seem daunting at first is does get easier. Facebook is easy to set-up and has video calling option as does WhatsApp (other apps are available)

  • Consider writing a letter, or making a card to send – it may give you something to focus on and they may feel special receiving it.

  • If you miss spending time with the younger members of the family as them to draw you pictures or make you a cardboard model – it might help you both to feel better. They can then send you a picture or video call you to show you their work.

  • If you have a knack for maths, music or grammar – perhaps you could offer to give online help to those who are trying to home school

  • While the advice is not to meet anyone from outside of your house or support bubble, if you really need to – go for a walk with one other person.

12. I need my regular prescription but can’t stand outside queueing for 15 minutes, what can I do?

  • Use Google Maps to find out when are the quieter times to reduce queueing time for example Tuesday later in the day, will be quieter than Monday mornings

  • Local Facebook pages may have offers of help or support with things like getting prescriptions

  • You could opt to use a prescription delivery service. Lloyds Pharmacy, Co-op etc all offer free delivery service for repeat prescriptions

13. What will happen to my wife, who has dementia if I get ill during the pandemic?

  • It is important that you create a plan while you are well and share it with your family or others who support you.

  • Make a list of all the things that are important to your wife so that whoever supports her knows how to support her in a way that she will accept, along with details of any medication that she has – pin this to the fridge or a notice board

  • If you do get ill, please call Somerset Coronavirus Helpline on 0300 790 6275 or 0300 123 2224 and ask to speak to the emergency duty team – explain to them that you are unable to take care of your wife and you have left instructions. They will advise you on the next steps.

14. I am very lonely, who can I talk to?

  • If you are feeling lonely and want someone to talk to, here are some useful contacts and suggestions:

    • The Silver Line is a 24/7 free helpline offering confidential advice and friendship to older people 0800 470 80 90.

    • Take the first move and call someone from your phone book – it is okay to say that you are feeling lonely so you thought you would give them a call

    • Age UK offer a regular telephone chat to the over 60’s  0800 434 6105

    • You could sign up to be a friend to someone else

    • Join social media groups on topics that interest you and take part in the conversations

    • Offer support or volunteer with a local community group

    • Here are some things that can help reduce the sense of loneliness:

      • Remember the restrictions will not last forever

      • Try creating a routine to check in with other people

      • Keeping busy will help to change your focus and will be good for your overall wellbeing

      • Move more, it will help you feel better - a short walk or a few stretches or a full blown workout in you sitting room

      • The every mind matters quiz will give you specific suggestions to help https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters/your-mind-plan-quiz/

15. I am worried about my finances and don’t know where to turn.

16. I am due my PIP assessment, will it still go ahead?

  • In light of the current Coronavirus outbreak, the Department for Work and Pensions has taken the precautionary decision to temporarily suspend all face-to-face consultations for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) from Tuesday, March 17, 2020.

  • This is to safeguard the health of vulnerable individuals by reducing unnecessary risk of exposure to Coronavirus. This measure is for three months and will be regularly reviewed by the DWP.

  • If you already have a consultation arranged with Independent Assessment Services (IAS), you do not need to attend. We will contact you to discuss your appointment and explain the next steps.

  • If you have made a claim for PIP but do not have a date for a consultation with IAS, you do not need to do anything. We will contact you shortly by telephone or letter to let you know what will happen next.

  • If you are already receiving PIP, you will continue to receive your current payments as normal. DWP continues to accept all new PIP claims.

17. I have been told that I need to go online to sort my benefits out, but I am not very good with tech stuff?

  • For many benefits you can ask the Citizens Advice Bureau to help you

  • There is also the option to complete some applications over the telephone.

18. I used to have a friend come in and check on me every week, but she isn’t allowed anymore so nobody checks on me.

  • Age UK offer a regular telephone chat to the over 60’s  0800 434 6105.

  • Your friend may be able to check on you by phone or through the window.

  • If you need specific support e.g. help to get food or around the house you may want to speak to the Somerset Coronavirus Helpline on 0300 790 6275.

19. My house has got in a muddle, is there anyone who would come and help me get straight?

  • There are still many businesses continuing to operate throughout the pandemic/lockdown who may be able to help the Somerset Community Connect website has a directory that list micro providers (small businesses) in your area https://www.somersetcommunityconnect.org.uk/

20. When I do go out people don’t seem to be following social distancing guidance especially in supermarkets, how can I keep a safe distance?

  • Patience is key, stand and wait even if you have to make a point that you are waiting patiently for a suitable space to move.

  • If you use a wheelchair, consider user a beeper or a bell if you feel people are not noticing you waiting.

  • Remember some people may be dealing with their own issues, so try to ensure that you say thank you and smile from your eyes – others will appreciate it.

  • If people are persistently not following guidance, then apologise and say that you are trying to following social distancing guidance and keep other people safe.

  • Schedule supermarket visits to quieter times (Google maps can tell you when the quieter times are).

21. I have been advised to shield, but my employer is insisting that I attend my workplace which isn’t covid-secure and no one follows the rules!

22. Where can I get information about covid and my disability?


 

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