Coping with extended self-isolation due to COVID-19

Coping with extended self-isolation due to COVID-19

Whether you’re self isolating to avoid COVID-19, you are a close contact of a case or you have tested positive to COVID-19 yourself, there’s a chance you may need to stay at home for longer than you expected.

Key points

  • If you end up self isolating for longer than you planned for there are some factors you should think about so that you can get through your isolation
  • Consider what goods you can have delivered to your house by businesses, organisations, friends or family
  • Keep on top of your health and wellbeing as best as you can

When your period of isolation gets extended, just remember there are services which can help you to get through it. It’s also a good idea to talk to the people in your support network about how they might help you.

Contactless services

If you start to run out of essential supplies, don’t worry! It is now more common than ever for goods to be able to be delivered to your door.

Many supermarkets deliver groceries directly to you and leave them by your door, so you can pick them up and bring them inside without contact with anyone.

Most of your essentials are likely to be covered by this delivery, including:

  • Fresh, pantry and freezer food
  • Personal hygiene products, soap, toothpaste
  • Regular pain relief and some other medications like iron supplements
  • Pet food
  • Continence products
  • Cleaning products
  • Toilet paper

For goods from businesses which don’t deliver, talk to your family, friends or neighbours who are not in isolation and ask if they would be willing to pick up the items you need and drop them off in the same way.

Wellbeing

Eat as well as you can - cook when you can rather than always ordering takeaway or ask someone to prepare a home cooked meal for you and drop it off if you are unable to cook.

Plan what you are going to eat week by week so that you know you are eating a balanced diet. There are lots of online resources which can help you to plan.

Try not to snack just because you are bored, think about changing the activity you are doing instead of eating unhealthy snack foods or make your snack a piece of fruit.

Stay on top of your medication and how much water you’re drinking as well and have a consistent exercise routine filled with activities you can do around the house.

It might help to keep a diary or journal of what you eat, drink and do each day so that you have it written down.

Always remember that health and wellbeing are important. This means not just eating as healthily as possible, getting in some exercise around the house and breathing some fresh air, but also looking after your mental health, keeping your brain active and having social connection in whatever way you can.

Look for ways in which you can access puzzles or games which make you think - these could be online, in the newspaper which is delivered to your door or in a puzzle book bought from the supermarket.

If you are playing games online these can also be a way of connecting with other people.

For more social connection you could arrange a regular time to call or video chat with a family member or friend, so that you have that conversation to look forward to.

Read more about staying connected when you can’t see others in person here.

If you need mental health support call Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636.

Entertainment

Get creative with what you have available at home. Consider what craft or new hobby you could start up with items already in your cupboard or items you can buy with your supermarket delivery.

Ordering online and having items delivered by post is also contactless, so buying hobby items directly from specialist stores is also a possibility. This could be anything from a new puzzle or model set to piece together to materials for candle making.

What you choose to buy might depend on how much money you have available after buying your essentials, but many hobbies can be low cost. The friends, family and neighbours you’re in contact with might also have hobby materials they don’t want at home, which they might be willing to give to you.

If you have access to the internet you could follow a baking, exercise, art, dance or any other activity video to vary what you’re doing each day and prevent boredom.

NDIS supports

For people who are participants of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), some changes have been made during the pandemic to account for the interruptions to regular routines which COVID-19 has caused and the extra costs of health precautions.

The cost of some Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) which you might need to wear while your support workers are visiting can be claimed under your NDIS plan, as long as your support workers visit for an average of at least one hour each day.

If you need face masks, face shields, gloves or similar PPE you can claim up to $50 a week through your Core supports budget.

It’s possible long periods of isolation could also affect the costs of your support services. For example, if there are supports you usually receive in group settings that support will cost more if it is delivered to you one-on-one.

National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) planners and Local Area Coordinators (LACs) are monitoring the use of NDIS plan funding and when funding is being used more quickly than expected they will check in with you to discuss your supports.

You can also contact the NDIA directly if you’re concerned about the impact of the pandemic on your funding or if your circumstances have changed.

For people in Supported Independent Living situations who have COVID-19, additional funding can be added to a plan to cover the cost of extra supports at home or in alternative accommodation, if it’s needed for isolation.

For advice about isolating and services which is more specific to your location click on your State or Territory below:

Related content:
Supports available to protect you from COVID-19
Safe post COVID-19 pandemic activities
Challenges for unpaid carers during COVID-19

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