Personal Care Attendant (PCA) Information
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- Ensure you have sufficient backup attendants in case your regular attendants cannot work; your attendants may not be able to work because either they get sick or they need to take care of a family member who is.
- Ensure that you have the ability to get assistance if an attendant does not show up for work.
- Have at least a week of non-perishable food in your home at any given time (if possible have two weeks’ supply) and identify people who can assist with shopping.
- Stock up on other important supplies. There may be shortages of other supplies like toilet paper, cleaning supplies, hygiene products and such. You don’t need to hoard these, but plan to keep a supply in your home.
- Identify a way to make sure you can get your medications in a timely manner.
- Plan for your pets.
- Have your attendants wash their hands and use hand sanitizer when they arrive at your home and each time prior to touching or feeding you.
- Regularly clean, sanitize and disinfect the surfaces that are touched in your home to prevent the spread of infection.
- Use disinfecting wipes on items that are frequently touched. These include your telephone, doorknobs, your refrigerator handle, your wheelchair controls, lifting device controls and remote controls.
- Have your attendant take extra steps to avoid possibly infecting you by wearing a surgical mask if someone close to your attendant – like a member of their household – becomes sick. They should be extra vigilant about not touching their face or yours.
- If your attendant becomes sick, urge them to seek medical care and utilize your backup attendants.
- Take immediate steps to avoid infecting your attendants if you, one of your attendants, or a member of your household begins to feel sick. Protecting their health supports your own independence. Tell all of your attendants if you, one of your attendants or someone in your household is not feeling well.
- If someone in your household becomes sick, take steps to avoid infecting other people. If possible, have them stay in a separate room of your home to get well.
- If you become sick, seek medical care immediately. As people with disabilities, we are at greater risk from illnesses like these.
- If you cannot be supported at home, contact your doctor and notify CDR so we can make sure you are able to get back home when your situation is resolved. Many of us know people with disabilities who have been institutionalized when they sought medical care, so some people are reluctant to seek medical support. You do not have to put your health and life at risk to preserve your freedom. CDR is here to help.
The SC Respite Coalition shared a resource from the Respite Care Association of Wisconsin. It is a list of tips and tricks for caregivers on how to cope with life and caregiving during the COVID-19 outbreak.