Quadriplegics and individuals with chronic diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and multiple sclerosis (MS) are especially vulnerable to the effects of COVID-19. If you or a loved one is a quadriplegic or has a chronic disease, these tips are especially important since they are especially vulnerable. This article highlights some ways you can help keep you and/or your loved ones safe during this difficult time and don’t forget to follow Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommendations on how to best keep you and your family safe.
Monitor Local Health Department Recommendations
COVID-19 cases differ by state and county. It is important to monitor what local health departments are saying about COVID-19 in your immediate area. Perhaps there are few cases in your zip code, but that can rapidly change. Following the recommendations of your local health department in addition to state and federal guidelines is the best way to keep you and your family safe.
Wear a Mask
Even if you live in an area that does not mandate wearing a mask, caregivers and family members should consider doing so when they are out in public and while they are tending to the needs of a person with a disability or chronic illness. This is especially important because your loved one may not always be able to wear a mask around you, especially if they rely on an input method such as sip and puff to operate their custom environmental control unit (ECU) / speech generating device.
Shower and Wash Clothing After Being Out in Public
Any time you are exposed to the public (i.e. grocery shopping, work, doctors office, etc.) you should immediately take a shower when you return home. It’s also not a bad idea to wash your clothes.
Focus on Staying Healthy
It is extremely important for you to focus on your own health. Make sure you are eating healthy, getting some exercise and taking care of yourself. Go outside to get some fresh air or take a walk. Participate in a virtual exercise or yoga class. Maybe even explore options for safe and engaging activities to help decrease stress.
Alert Your Physician if Your or Your Loved Ones Show Any Signs of Being Ill
If you or your loved ones show any signs of being ill, contact your physician right away. COVID-19 is especially dangerous for quadriplegics and those with chronic diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and multiple sclerosis.
Have a Backup Plan if You Become Ill
If you become ill, you will need to focus solely on yourself to get better. Avoid having to worry about your loved ones care by having a backup plan should you become ill. You can do this by briefing neighbors, friends or other family members about your loved ones care. Who comes in to provide personal care services? How often? What medication do they need? Make sure this is written down and accessible should something happen to you.
Accessibility Services is a leading provider of assistive technology for quadriplegics and individuals with chronic diseases such as ALS and multiple sclerosis. Our signature autonoME is a combined custom environmental control unit / speech generating device that incorporates voice assistive technology. If you would like to learn more about our tools for quadriplegics and individuals with chronic diseases we would love to talk to you! Give us a call to learn more today.