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Isolating together

Some siblings may be living or self-isolating at home with their disabled brother or sister. This might be your usual living situation, or you may have chosen to be together at this time.

  • It is possible for family members to be paid direct payments for providing care – read this advice from the government here
  • Read this advice from the Challenging Behaviour Foundation on escalating behaviour at home. Join their family support network to access ‘Carer Catch Ups’ and ‘CBF Behaviour Chat’. Click here and scroll down
  • Positive Approaches to Support is a new website for all family carers of someone with a learning disability/autism, and it has been developed jointly by professionals and carers. It has tips and advice on support, independence, communication and challenging behaviour during lockdown
  • Many siblings don’t recognise themselves as carers. However, if you are doing day-to-day tasks for your disabled brother or sister that you wouldn’t do for another adult who didn’t have their disability – then you providing care for them. Read the latest guidance from Carers UK.


In Scotland:

“People who have been shielding should follow the same advice as everyone else in Scotland… We are not asking people to start shielding again unless their GP or healthcare provider has advised them to do so.” Read more here.

In Wales:

“Those who have previously followed shielding advice no longer need to do so. You can now follow the same rules as the rest of the population in Wales.” Read more here.

In Northern Ireland:

“Since 31 July there is no need for anyone who is extremely vulnerable to have to shield to manage the risk.” Read more here.

In England:

“…While previous shielding guidance helped protect those most at risk from COVID-19, many people reported that they found the advice very restrictive.

Since the introduction of shielding, many new measures have been introduced in our communities, including the rule of 6, COVID-secure workplaces, and the widespread use of face coverings, all of which have reduced the need for such restrictive shielding advice.

The government also has better data on new infections and has introduced local COVID alert levels, with rules and advice based on the level of risk in a local area. This updated guidance offers additional advice to the clinically extremely vulnerable over and above local COVID alert level guidance. This new guidance aims to strike a better balance between providing practical steps to help keep you safe while reducing some of the potentially harmful impacts on mental and social wellbeing that were associated with previous strict shielding. It sets out the steps clinically extremely vulnerable people can take to protect themselves at each local COVID alert level.

In the future, the government will only reintroduce formal shielding advice in the very worst affected local areas and for a limited period of time. This will only apply to some, but not all, very high alert level areas and will be based on advice from the Chief Medical Officer. The government will write to you separately to inform you if you are advised to shield. You are not advised to follow formal shielding advice again unless you receive a new shielding notification advising you to do so. From now, refer to the new local COVID alert levels for your area.” Read more here.

Activities at home

Does your brother or sister have a learning disability and/or autism? Check out these resources, which include information and resources for coping with day-to-day life and ideas for activities too:

And for social care guidance:

This page was last updated: October 28th 2020

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