COVID-19: Caring for Someone at Home

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Overview

The fight against the coronavirus is still continuing and it’s taking a toll on everyone. Aside from the anxiety and stress that people get due to the uncertainty of this pandemic, many people also fall ill. And in these uncertain times, it is important that you know how to take care of yourself. Since staying indoors is highly encouraged by the authorities, that means that you and your family need to stay in your homes for quite a while. During this period, it is possible that any of your family members may get sick and you may have to take care of them. 

Sickness weakens the body. To gain strength and get well quickly, special care is needed. The care a sick person receives is frequently the most important part of his treatment. If you are caring for someone with COVID-19 at home or in a non-healthcare setting, follow this advice to protect yourself and others.

  • Provide support and help cover basic needs. 

You can help the person who is sick by following their doctor’s instructions for care and medicine. For most people, the symptoms last a few days, and people usually feel better after a week. It is important that the person who is sick drinks a lot of fluids. As much as people, don’t let them do any chores in the house and let them rest properly. You can also help them fill prescriptions, and get other items they may need. Consider having the items delivered through a delivery service, if possible. Take care of their pets, and limit contact between the person who is sick and their pets when possible.

  • Watch for warning signs. 

When you take care of a sick family member, it is important to save their doctor’s phone number on hand. Use CDC’s self-checker tool to help you make decisions about seeking appropriate medical care. If you see that the person keeps getting sicker, immediately contact their doctor. 

For medical emergencies, call 911 and tell the dispatcher that the person has or might have COVID-19People who have emergency warning signs for COVID-19 should call 911 right away. Emergency warning signs include difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion or inability to wake up and bluish lips or face.

  • Wear a cloth face cover or gloves. 

The person who is sick should wear a cloth face covering when they are around other people at home. That includes before they enter a doctor’s office. The cloth face-covering helps prevent a person who is sick from spreading the virus to others. Additionally, it keeps respiratory droplets contained and from reaching other people. Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing or is not able to remove the covering without help.

 

Protect Yourself When Caring for Someone Who is Sick 

While taking care of someone who is sick, it is important to also ensure your safety. Here are some of the things you can do to protect yourself: 

  • Limit contact. 

COVID-19 spreads between people who are in close contact or within about 6 feet through respiratory droplets, created when someone talks, coughs, or sneezes. The caregiver, when possible, should not be someone who is at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19. If you have a chronic disease, then it’s best that you let the other members of your family take care of a sick person. Use a separate bedroom and bathroom. If possible, have the person who is sick stay in their own “sick room” or area and away from others. 

Also, have the person who is sick use a separate bathroom. If you need to share space with him, make sure the room has good airflow. Open the window and turn on a fan to increase air circulation. Improving ventilation helps remove respiratory droplets from the air. It is also important that you avoid having any unnecessary visitors, especially visits by people who are at higher risk for severe illness.

  • Wear a cloth face cover or gloves.

To protect yourself, wear gloves when you touch or have contact with the sick person’s blood, stool, or body fluids, such as saliva, mucus, vomit, and urine. Throw out the gloves immediately into a lined trash can and wash your hands right away. You should ask the sick person to put on a cloth face covering before entering the room. Also wear a cloth face covering when caring for a person who is sick. To prevent getting sick, make sure you practice everyday preventive actions such as cleaning your hands often, avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands; and frequently cleaning and disinfecting surfaces.

  • Clean and disinfect the house.

This is very important as this will help protect you and your family from getting sick. Make sure to Clean and disinfect “high-touch” surfaces and items every day: This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, handles, desks, toilets, faucets, sinks, and electronics.  Clean the area or item with soap and water if it is dirty. Then, use a household disinfectant. Be sure to follow the instructions on the label to ensure safe and effective use of the product. 

 

Conclusion

In this time of need, it is important to take all the best measures to stay protected. If you have family members or if you know anyone who is sick, then follow the tips we provided. This is to help you ensure your safety as well as provide the best quality care to the person who is sick. If you want to learn more about how to better protect yourself, you may contact Dr. Jantzi. He provides professional allergy, asthma, and immunology services to patients at numerous locations in the Brazos Valley region. Schedule a meeting to learn more.

Disclaimer: Information on this website is not intended to be used in place of your professional medical advice or treatment. Please consult your doctor or healthcare provider with any questions regarding a medical condition.
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