Delivering the message of people with intellectual disabilities to the public since 1963

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Activities of the Republic Centre – PORAKA and its services during the COVID-19 OutbreakAdapted programme for psycho-social support and adjusted individual educational activities at home

All the changes that happen around us affect our perception and change the daily rhythm of life. Hence, this new situation instills a sense of fear, anxiety, confusion, despair, hopelessness, uncertainty. In conditions of pandemic caused by Coronavirus, it is of utmost importance to comply with the recommendations for physical isolation and staying home, and therefore the professionals at the Republic Centre – PORAKA and at the day centres in Skopje (Aerodrom and Kapistec), Radovis, Prilep and Stip are conducting adapted working programme for psycho-social support and adjusted individual educational programmes with the users at the day centres and their families. The activities are being performed at home with telephone, video and online communication.

Conducting programme activities at home

The priority is to engage the users at their homes, i.e. to give guidance and tasks for conducting activities that would maintain the skills and possibilities of the users. The activities are being planned and suggested by the educators, and are agreed, conducted and monitored individually for each user through telephone or video calls. The activities are aimed towards:
• Maintaining the health and behavior during infectious diseases, while using online resources for preventing the spread of COVID-19 given at the Facebook pages of the Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization, which are shared on PORAKA’s Facebook page, especially easy to read formats.
• Stressing the importance and the proper ways of keeping personal hygiene, especially washing hands.
• Restrictions that must be respected, including the state of emergency and curfew, especially for those users that are more independent.
• Including the users in all practical activities at their homes, for example, maintain hygiene and cleaning, tiding up their room, preparing simple meals, washing the dishes according to their possibilities, whereby the educator provides guidance and information to the parents regarding the involvement of their child in these activities at the day centre.
• Providing simple educational activities, which do not require specific materials or tools, i.e. that can easily be performed at home, in accordance to the possibilities and the interests of the users, considering the characteristics of the family as well. Those are everyday practical and cognitive activities that need to be practiced and repeated.
• Pointing out to educational contents in TV and Internet, which could be adequate for engaging the users.

Direct psychosocial support to the users and their parents

The priority is to offer support, advice, reasoning, encouragement for easier understanding and dealing with the situation we are in. This type of support is provided by using the following ways of communication:
• Video communication if the user/parent/guardian uses Viber or Facebook Messenger. If the parent/guardian or the user agrees to video communication, it is necessary to assess whether the video call would be more beneficial than the regular telephone call. Recommendation: to make video calls every working day, especially if there is more intense need for support.
• Telephone calls to users that have and use their own mobile phone, and do not have Internet. These are more independent users, and at the same time they are in greater risk of inappropriate behavior, i.e. disrespect of official recommendations and restrictions. The recommendation is that there is a more intense need for support to this group of users.

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