I work in healthcare and care for someone with cancer. How can I keep them safe?
It’s normal to be concerned about your risk of exposure and passing on COVID-19 if you work in healthcare and are also caring for a loved one whose immune system is lowered. It is important that you work through the best solution for you.
If it is not possible to change your caring or living arrangements to reduce the risk, you may consider some of the following:
Be meticulous about caring for yourself and reducing your own risk of contracting the virus. Read the Australian Government’s advice on protecting yourself and others.
If the level of care you provide requires close contact such as help with bathing and dressing, preparation of meals etc, you may need to consider seeking alternate support for these tasks. Can another family member take on these responsibilities? It not, we encourage you to talk with your GP or the person’s treating team about the services that might be available to you at this time.
Depending on your living arrangements, consider if it is possible to have separate bathrooms and eating areas to limit the possibility of any cross contamination. Try to limit the use of shared spaces by having designated zones in the house.
Pay attention to the cleaning of frequently touched surfaces. You can read more about cleaning advice here.
While this will not be an option for everyone, if you feel the risk of you passing on COVID-19 to your loved one is too great, you might want to think about alternative arrangements that you can make. Consider if you can call on other family members to help take over care or if you may be able to arrange to stay somewhere else to avoid contact with your loved one.
Depending on your role, if you raise your concerns with your employer, they might be able to help you during this time. You may be able to move to duties that bring you into less contact with the public and thus reduce your exposure risk.
Cancer Council NSW would like to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which we live and work.We would also like to pay respect to elders past and present and extend that respect to all other Aboriginal people.