Caring for chronic illness during COVID-19

By April 16, 2020Health, Stay Safe
Caring for others

It is easy to get scared about COVID-19. With the number of cases across the globe rising daily and Australia enacting strict social distancing rules, you would be hard-pressed to find anyone who isn’t a bit freaked out about all of the warnings.

But those who are in higher risk group are doing it particularly tough. You probably know that the elderly and those with suppressed or compromised immune systems are at a higher risk of serious illness if they contract COVID-19. What you might not realise is that people with certain chronic health conditions such as renal failure, coronary heart disease, chronic lung disease and poorly controlled diabetes or hypertension are also at serious risk.

Getting the physical and emotional support you need when suffering from a chronic health condition is absolutely essential to living a happy and healthy life.

Thankfully, this pandemic doesn’t have to change the quality of care you receive.

There are three ways you can get the support you need to stay healthy without compromising your safety during this time:

Seeing your doctor or specialist

It is understandable to be wary of visiting your doctor’s office during the pandemic, but West Moreton Health and Darling Down and West Moreton PHN stress the importance of continuing to see your doctor or outpatient specialist if you suffer from a chronic health condition during this time. Staying on the front foot of treating your chronic illness will help keep you safe.

Luckily, you might be able to have your next appointment via telephone or video through telehealth. telehealth is easy to use and is subsidised by Medicare for all Australians. Give your GP or outpatient specialist a call and ask whether you can use telehealth for your next appointment.

Refilling your medications

It is more important than ever that those who take medication to manage a chronic health condition continue with their regular dosage.

If you need to get your prescription refilled, give your doctor or pharmacy a call and ask them about the COVID-19 Home Medicines Service. They can organise your repeats to be delivered to your door free of charge.

Avoiding the dreaded lurgy

The last thing anyone needs right now is to catch the seasonal flu. We recommend organising flu shots for your family in April or May for maximum protection this season. Children under five and people over the age of 65 are eligible to receive a free flu vaccination through the National Immunisation Program.

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