If you live with someone who has lymphoma, you don’t need to carry out the same protective shielding measures as they do. However, the government asks you to make your best efforts in supporting them to shield and to strictly follow guidance on social distancing.
To help shield the person:
- Minimise the time you spend in shared spaces such as kitchens, bathrooms and sitting areas, and keep any shared spaces well ventilated.
- Keep 2 metres (3 steps) away from the people you live with. If you usually share a bed with the person who has lymphoma, sleep in separate beds if you can.
- Where possible, use a different bathroom and toilet from the person with lymphoma. If you do share these facilities, ensure they’re cleaned after each use, including cleaning any surfaces you have touched. You could draw up a rota and let the person with lymphoma bath or shower first.
- Have separate towels for each person in the house to dry themselves after bathing, showering and handwashing.
- If you share a kitchen with the person who has lymphoma, avoid using it while they are in it. If you have one, use a dishwasher to clean and dry the household crockery and cutlery after use. Otherwise, use your usual washing up liquid and warm water to wash and dry them thoroughly. If the person with lymphoma is using separate utensils, remember to use a separate tea towel to dry them.
We recognise that it's likely to be very difficult to separate yourself from the people you live with. You, and everyone in your household, should do your very best to follow this guidance.
As of 6 July, shielding guidance for England and Northern Ireland has been relaxed and you no longer need to socially distance from a person with lymphoma who is a member of your own household. Shielding guidance for Scotland and Wales has not yet been relaxed in this way. If you live in Scotland or Wales, you are still advised to socially distance from a person with lymphoma who is a member of your own household or extended household.
Carers UK have information about coronavirus, including about changes to benefits, assessments and support during the pandemic. They also offer a weekly 'Care for a Cuppa' - an online chat over a tea or coffee with people who understand what you’re going through .
The Government recommends that you limit your contact with people who are at risk of serious illness from COVID-19. This includes people with lymphoma. You should visit the person only to provide essential care, for example, with things like helping the person to wash, dress or eat. If you provide essential care to the person, talk to them about extra precautions you can take to help keep them safe.
If you are the main carer for the person who has lymphoma, speak to them about a back-up plan in case you become unwell and need to self-isolate. If there is nobody else who can offer help in your absence, contact your local council and ask for an assessment of the person’s needs. You can register for support to help meet the person’s needs on the GOV.UK website.
If you are not a carer, or you have to stop caring for someone who has lymphoma for some time, limit your contact with them as far as possible. Instead of visiting them in person think about other ways you can support them. For example, you could:
- check in with them by phone or video call
- ask friends or neighbours if they can help the person with things like shopping or collecting a prescription
- book online deliveries for the person with lymphoma
- find out what support is available from the person’s local council or charities such as Age UK.