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How to manage University halls with 24/7 personal care during covid?
My physically disabled son with CP is going into his 3rd year at Uni and has an adapted room in a shared uni flat with a carer room next door. He has a support package, agency care, DSA etc and the Uni is pretty good re access and adaptations for his course. But what we are really struggling to get our heads round is how on earth can this work in the current climate?
His flat is for 9 ...so if one of them has to self isolate they all have to. If one of his support team have to self isolate, surely then he does too? How on earth do they keep the shared kitchen area properly clean? I know the agency will have put some extra training in place round covid hygeine but the reality is that some of the support workers are very young and not exactly that well house trained to start with! (great as support workers for a young man though, in "normal" times)
He needs help with all personal and self care so its a very hands on job...so does that mean he will be all the time with masked, be-gloved and aproned support staff? He is exempt from wearing a mask at it would be soaked with drool in no time; but how many other students etc will actually understand that or make allowances for it?
And one of the biggest things is that there is a very good chance that he will become virtually a prisoner in his own room (whereas here at home he can go out and about a bit on his own in power chair) as almost all lectures will be remote and they will be trying to keep students from going out and about as much as possible. And if he feels vulnerable due to his mask situation or coughing and spluttering when he eats/is fed he will not want to go out anywhere.
There is also a real chance that he will get next to no excercise as I really don;t know how they will be able to operate the gym safely but he can;t just go for a jog or play a socially distanced game of tennis or whatever, as other students can.
But he is so keen to get back to the city; which I really understand, as he has been stuck here at home with his middle aged parents since mid March with almost no other helpers...
Not really looking for answers but feel that this group of students is another completely overlooked cohort and whilst we are in discussion with the uni disability team (who are very good) about some of this...so much is a complete unknown... There has been lots of discussions around SEND children going back to school/college(or not) but I have seen almost nothing about HE students, many of whom will be moving away from home.