Get help and support
You are not alone. We are here to help. Local organisations are also here to support you. Contact them to find out how they can help, and to keep up to date with available services. Find and contact your local organisation here.
You can find up to date information on the government Unite Against Covid-19 website.
Covid-19 vaccines are free and available to everyone in New Zealand. Vaccines are one of the ways we can fight the Covid-19 pandemic and protect the welfare and wellbeing of our communities.
People at greater risk will be vaccinated first. You can find out more about the Covid-19 vaccine on the Ministry of Health website.
Emergency Support Plans
If you don’t already have one, preparing an emergency support plan is still really important. Emergency Support Plans contain essential information to help you and the person you care for if your routine is disrupted.
If you have difficulty filling out parts of it, a family or friend might be able to assist you by phone or email. Once the Plan is completed make sure others know about the plan and where is can be found.
Looking after yourself
It is really important that you continue to take care of yourself. It’s only by taking care of yourself that you can continue to provide support to someone else.
If you find yourself feeling stressed or anxious, you can call or text 1737 to talk with a trained counsellor for free, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Find more information and support on the Mental Health Foundation website. You can also talk to your GP.
Supporting the person with dementia
The ongoing disruption of Covid-19 may mean that the person you support is finding it difficult to adjust to day to day life. This may lead to further decline in memory and understanding, and physical and cognitive deterioration. If you are concerned you should seek medical assistance from your GP or Healthline.
- Keep track of where you’ve been. Use the NZ Covid Tracer app if you can. If you do not use the app, use whatever method works for you, like the NZ Covid Tracer booklet or sign in when you visit a venue.
- If you are sick, stay home. If you have cold, flu or Covid-19 symptoms, stay home and call your doctor or Healthline on 0800 358 5453 for advice about getting tested.
- Washing your hands regularly both at home and while you’re out and about is still the best thing you can do to continue to stay healthy.
- At home, put signs with pictures in the bathroom or toilet reminding everyone to wash their hands with soap for 20 seconds. You can find some posters and resources to print off here. You might also like to use a hand moisuriser to help prevent dry or sore skin.
- Stand next to the person and wash your hands at the same time to encourage them.
- Use hand sanitizer (alcohol based) if you are concerned that good hygiene is not being practiced. It should be freely available out and about.
- Regularly clean things that are handled a lot, for example, taps, door and cupboard handles, phones and TV remotes.
If the person you care for is in residential care (rest home and hospitals):
The Ministry of Health has provided guidance to these facilities. This is to help keep everyone safe and it is important that the public follow the recommendations. Individual rest homes and hospitals will also be putting in place their own plans.
- Check in with the facility as to what their current rules and procedures are. Ensure that contact information is up to date for you and others.
- Understand that the facility may well continue to have extra measures in place around visits – this is to protect the residents and you must follow their advice.
- You should ask the facility what other means there are of making contact- for example a phone call daily, sending an email which will be read to the person in care.
- If this is not possible, talk to the facility about how you can get updates and about how you can pass messages on.
- Think about ways you can continue to provide support from a distance – for example, asking family to email photos to the person in care.