Anyone who’s visited a supermarket lately will have noticed that it’s becoming more difficult to practice physical distancing. Clearly some people haven’t got the 1.5m message and others seem to be on a mission to get up close and personal. Steering a trolley down the aisles is like driving a dodgem car with obstacles coming out of nowhere.
Fortunately, Co.As.It. client Edith Levai doesn’t have to worry about playing distancing dodgems, as she and her husband are having their groceries delivered to their door by Co.As.It. staff, under the Queensland Community Support Scheme (QCSS).
“Edith and her husband found shopping very stressful during ‘lockdown’ with an increase of panicked drivers in car parks” said Bridget Nucifora, QCSS coordinator. Co.As.It. has responded to the restrictions by being creative with the services it provides, in order to cater to individual client needs like Edith’s.
Under QCSS, support is available to people aged under 65, who have a long term disability, chronic illness, mental illness or other condition that impacts on their day to day functional capacity and ability to participate in the community. For more information about these services, call the coordinator, Bridget Nucifora on 07 3624 6100.
Seniors are hardest hit by the COVID-19 restrictions. The self isolation measures that are in place are creating challenges for many who are missing contact with grand children and their family members. New guidelines ask for seniors to remain at home. One couple that is experiencing such challenges is Maria and Luigi Apolloni, who are both Co.As.It. clients and regular visitors to Casa Aurelia, Co.As.It.’s south-side social group activity centre.
As restrictions have tightened due to the virus, Co.As.It. has demonstrated creativity and flexibility in the type and delivery of services it’s providing. A new initiative has been launched called “Client Interview – Welfare Checks” designed to ensure social group activity centre clients are regularly contacted and have a chance to talk to staff in their preferred language. It was during one of these checks that Maria was identified by staff as someone who may experience loneliness and isolation as her usual support mechanisms were closed. Maria looks forward to the weekly calls in Italian, which always include the question, “When are you going to call me next?”
Co.As.It. staff members speak a total of 30 languages, so most clients can speak to a staff member in their preferred language, which is particularly reassuring in times of uncertainty and change.
Maria has compared the current situation to war times, but with the difference that she and Luigi are still able to receive important services, such as their home visits by registered nurse, Tina. Tina’s weekly wellbeing checks are a welcome break in the day-to-day routine and Maria is grateful to Co.As.It. for the services she and Luigi are receiving.
While she looks forward to catching up with staff and friends at Casa Aurelia, for the time being, Maria is happy to make the most of her weekly chats and Co.As.It. continues to find ways to support it’s clients.