Navigating COVID-19 for People with Disabilities
COVID-19 presents particular challenges for people with disabilities. For example, people who require home care or a support person may not be able to practice social distancing, as many services require close contact. With needed changes made to many of our services (like schools, public transit and childcare), some support persons may face additional challenges attending to clients. As a result, people with disabilities may be relying more than ever on trusted family and friends for help.
While the practice of social isolation is being encouraged, for pockets of the disability community who are already socially isolated and live alone, prolonged isolation is detrimental to their health and well-being. For many Manitobans who have mental health concerns, it is especially important to stay connected now, and to know where to find additional resources.
Much media attention is focused on our older population because of their vulnerability to COVID-19. However, a large number of people with disabilities have similarly compromised immune systems. Pre-existing conditions can worsen the risk of contracting the virus, which may then require intensive medical aid. We must all do our part in providing support and preventing the spread of COVID-19, especially to people with disabilities.
Small actions can have a big impact. Looking out for one another is vital.
Here are some resources for Manitobans with disabilities and their families:
- Abilities Manitoba has assembled a list of COVID-19 Information & Resources
- Alzheimer Society Manitoba – Helpful Tips & Resources During COVID-19
- Canadian Association for Community Living #COVIDdisability: Disability-Related Resources for Families
- Canadian Mental Health Association, Manitoba & Winnipeg – COVID-19 Resource Centre
- ConnectABILITY.ca offers a full-range of COVID-19 Resources & Support
- World Health Organization – Disability Considerations During the COVID-19 Outbreak