COVID-19 AND PEOPLE WITH A DISABILITY
Are people with disabilities more at risk of getting COVID-19? No and Yes.
Not all people with disabilities are more likely to get infected with the virus. However, people with underlying medical conditions, related or unrelated to their disabilities, could be more likely to get COVID-19.
The first point to be noted is that adults with disabilities are more likely to have chronic medical conditions such as heart diseases, high blood pressure, and diabetes than their counterparts. All of these conditions put people with disabilities at a higher risk of getting infected by the virus.
Moreover, if the person with a disability requires a caretaker or a family member for mobility, it could put them at higher risk through direct contact. Another example, people with visual impairment could be unable to practice social distancing, or some individuals with disabilities may not be able to practice other safety measures like washing hands.
So, what can we do to help ourselves or people with disabilities around us?
Prevention is the key solution. If you or your family members with disability are at higher risk, some of the preventive measures to be taken could include-
- Support workers or family members taking care of the person with a disability should check if they have any symptoms related to COVID-19.
- They should check their temperature, wash hands, and/ or sanitize themselves before and after coming into contact with the person with a disability.
- Regularly clean and disinfect any surface or object used by the person with a disability, such as wheelchairs and walking sticks-particularly those used outside the house.
- For people with hearing impairment or people with Autism Spectrum, support assistance and caretakers could wear a clear/ transparent mask to read lips and facial gestures.
If you or your loved ones are showing any signs of COVID-19, call the National Coronavirus Line 1800 020 080.