The current lockdown period we’re all facing has coughed up several new trends and ways of working. But as we’ve reported on already here at DMARGE, it can have a significant effect on our mental health. We’ve already written about the ways you can minimise and prevent your chances, simply by following daily rituals, but what about the less-abled among us who rely on carers?
Some 20 per cent of the population identify as living with a disability, many of which require either round-the-clock care or occasional home visits. In-home carers are, therefore, seen as an essential service, meaning they are still able to visit clients but must adhere to precautions to ensure both they and their clients remain safe. But there are still people out there who haven’t been able to receive care during the crisis, even just for something as simple as having a conversation.
View this post on Instagram
Australian Paralympian Dylan Alcott has been helping to put a stop to this by partnering with Mable, an online community for independent support workers, to contact disabled people all around Australia so that they no longer feel isolated.
Speaking to Honey, Dylan said the service works in a similar way to “online dating” as it matches support workers with individuals who have signed up, based on their specific needs and interests.
In response to the pandemic, Mable has launched a video call feature built directly into its platform to allow carers to contact their clients if they’re not able to visit them at home. It’s this feature that Dylan has used to have virtual face-to-face conversations with Australians to offer his support.
He’s been able to connect with four people so far, comparing quarantine beards, playing board games and just having a general chinwag, but more calls are planned, as he’s pledged his support for at least the next month.
He added that because services such as Mable exist to bring the disabled community together, we should refer to the effects of the pandemic as “physical distancing, rather than social distancing because you can still reach out and connect.”
Speaking of his conversations so far, Dylan said “These sessions have provided me with so much, learning how others are coping with COVID-19 and helping me feel less isolated during this time. It’s awesome to be able to use Mable to share this connection with others and hopefully, they got as much out of it as me.”
“The Mable platform challenges traditional disability support in Australia, making it accessible for all and even more so during this time with the virtual support functionality.”
“I can’t wait to jump into more sessions and meet more of these incredible people over the coming weeks and months.”
The Australian government has put a dedicated plan in place for disabled people across Australia, of which there are more than four million. The plan, which will be updated periodically, “has been developed for people of all ages with a disability, their families, carers, support workers and the disability and health care sectors.”