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COVID-19 FAQs: Elderly & Vulnerable

Cayman Islands Government
Published: April 28 2020
Last Updated: July 27, 2020

In The Elderly & Vulnerable F.A.Qs

This section covers questions relating to the elderly and vulnerable in regards to COVID-19 in the Cayman Islands. Click the links below to skip to the relevant questions or scroll down to read more:

  1. How are elderly persons living alone being advised?
  2. How are elderly persons in group community settings being prepared?
  3. What if I live with someone who is high risk?
  4. How does self-isolation work if I have a vulnerable relative living in my house?
  5. I am a caregiver looking after a vulnerable person. What should I do?
  6. How are the vulnerable being assisted?
  7. As an older person who can I reach out to for help?

 

How are elderly persons living alone being advised?

Community District Officers and representatives from agencies including the Department of Children & Family Services, Cayman Islands Red Cross and Economics & Statistics Office will assist with distribution of materials and speaking with elderly persons.

 

How are elderly persons in group community settings being prepared?

The Ministry of Health and Public Health officials have set up web pages to assist employees in a clinical setting and for carers who work within people’s homes. Many of these entities have been conducting their own training.

 


What if I live with someone who is high risk?

Hand hygiene is imperative. Make sure to wash your hands before assisting with feeding or washing vulnerable persons if they are unable to do so on their own or need help with these tasks.

You can also follow many of the same tips as persons who are in self-isolation with other persons in the household. 

 

How does self-isolation work if I have a vulnerable relative living in my house?

If you have no alternative location to self-isolate, you should follow the same guidance as anyone else in self-isolation:
  • Keep your distance (at least three feet away) from other members of your household by isolating in a separate room
  • Clean toilets and bathrooms regularly
  • Think about a bathroom rota if a separate bathroom is not available, with the isolated person using the facilities last, before thoroughly cleaning the bathroom themselves
  • Do not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, bedding or other items with other people in your home
  • Use separate sheets and towels from anyone else in the household and launder at the hottest temperature possible for the material
  • Wash crockery and utensils thoroughly with soap and water; dishwashers may be used to clean crockery and cutlery


I am a caregiver looking after a vulnerable person. What should I do?

Carers for the elderly and vulnerable in private residences may have clients who already have underlying chronic conditions, e.g. asthma, diabetes and cancer. To avoid contracting or spreading the COVID-19 virus:
  • you can wear masks to limit the transmission of upper respiratory illnesses to clients
  • limit contact to essential visitors and ask guests not to touch your client(s) and to comply with the Government’s social distancing instructions to keep three feet away
  • wear gloves and aprons while carrying out personal care
  • cleanse your hands before approaching your client(s), similarly before preparing their meals/refreshments and again before feeding them; current advice suggests washing hands for 20 seconds before and after each interaction with your client(s) and when moving between rooms
  • self-isolate for 14 days if you, other members of your household, or your client(s) have/has symptoms including a high temperature, cough, shortness of breath, and/or loss of smell or taste
  • change out of the clothes you came to work in and put on fresh ones before tending to your client(s)
If you or members of your household has/have symptoms or may have been exposed to COVID-19:
  • first, contact Public Health 244-2621, the 24-hour Flu Hotline on 1-800-534-8600 or 925-6327 (Flow) or 947-3077 (Digicel), or email flu@hsa.ky, or your General Practitioner;
  • then, inform your employer of the symptoms, so that alternative care arrangements can be made.
If you are with your client(s), while waiting for your employer to relieve you, leave the room and, if possible, go to an adjoining one but keep the door ajar so that you can see and/or speak with your client(s) until relief arrives.

If your client(s) has/have symptoms or may have been exposed to coronavirus:
  • first, contact your employer to tell them about your client(s) symptoms,
  • then, reassure your client(s) and put masks (if available) on yourself and on your client(s) to avoid cross-contamination.
Remember, you are valued and your work as a carer is very important to the overall well-being of your client(s). Please ensure that you also prioritise your own physical and emotional well-being.

If you or your client(s) have questions about maintaining or improving emotional well-being during this difficult time, call the new Mental Health Hotline 1-800-534-6463 for free and confidential support or call the Flu if the questions are of a more medical nature.

 

How are the vulnerable being assisted?

Update from Honourable Dwayne Seymour (video) https://youtu.be/OHz16d8SHBs 

 

As an older person who can I reach out to for help?

To support and safeguard seniors during the COVID-19 outbreak, persons can now call the newly-established Older Persons Helpline at 1-800-534-2222.

The toll-free line, staffed by Department of Children & Family Services (DCFS) social workers, is open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.

The aim of the helpline is to:

  • report concerns
  • obtain support
  • link callers to resources and volunteers
  • provide advice on COVID-19
  • encourage contact with older persons

In the event of an emergency call 911. For COVID-19 health advice, call the Health Services Authority‘s 24-hour Flu Hotline at 1-800-534-8600 or your GP.

For psychological support, call the Mental Health Helpline at 1-800-534-6463 (MIND) (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm).

 

Tags: FAQs, elderly, vulnerable

Cayman Islands Government, Government Admin Building, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands, Tel: 345 949 7900

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