(ABC News) – Those with underlying health issues should take extra steps to stay healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic, including those living with disabilities at higher risk of infection and severe illness.
Conditions like Lou Gehrig’s disease and multiple sclerosis weaken muscles that help clear the lungs. That’s why experts at the Mayo Clinic are urging those with disabilities to take extra precautions against the virus.
Wheelchair users should wash their hands and faces frequently to expel any respiratory droplets that may have fallen on them. They also recommend to disinfect brakes and push rims, or any other highly-used medical equipment.
Caregivers should always check their temperature before arriving at work, wear masks when entering a home, and avoid touching the face of the person they’re caring for.
Experts recommend having a backup plan in case your caregiver is sick or exposed to someone who is. They recomment arranging home deliveries, finding a pet caretaker and preparing anyone who you would call in an emergency.
If you become sick, tell your medical provider about your disability and how it affects your ability to cough or breathe. This will help ensure your highest quality of care.