This is a helpful statement from OxFSN.
As Family Carers ourselves, we are well aware that the current situation surrounding Coronavirus will be having a huge impact on Family Carers who are supporting a family member with a learning disability. With many organisations now enforcing new restriction rules on visiting or suspending activities until further notice this only puts more pressure on the family carer and as we know, changes in routines amongst other things can be detrimental to the person we care for. We know also, that being a carer often results in a feeling of loneliness and isolation, so the prospect of an extended period of staying at home with a child or young adult who does not understand why their routine has had to change can be overwhelming.
Whilst OxFSN are not able to provide a magic solution, we are here for any family carer who feels they need some support and whilst we may not have the answers you need immediately, we will endeavour to get them as soon as we can, if we can. It is also important that you reach out and stay connected with families and friends over this period of uncertainty. So please don’t hesitate to get in contact. We can be reached either by phone on 07891 734987 or 07821 987080, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or through our Facebook page or website. We will continue to share any further information we come across.
For the older family carer, both Carers Oxfordshire and Age UK Oxford are also increasing the support they provide. They are offering a new, free, telephone support service which will include a regular weekly call to see how people are as they are limiting home visits to essential visits only. If you think you would benefit from this service, call 01865 411 288 where you can leave your name and contact number.
For any Family Carers who are concerned about visiting family members in hospital during this period we have been in contact with the Learning Disability Nursing Team who had this to say.
They have confirmed that the visitor restrictions will not directly apply to carers, and that as an organisation they value the important role of family carers and support workers to provide care and advocate for the people they care for, and view this role as different to visitors. They will continue to work with carers and ward staff to assess individuals needs at this time, and establish what is required to meet needs and minimise risk of spread of COVID-19.
The Learning Disability Liaison Nurse team can support in identifying needs and how they can best meet them. They appreciate that the availability of family carers and support workers will be changing as the current situation unfolds, and each situation will be different. Having Hospital Passports and care plans ready to bring in will be very helpful and they have attached a link to a hospital passport as well as a flyer for the teams contact details.
Stay safe but stay connected.