Written by: Rita Magallona
So you’ve taken preventive measures like washing your hands, getting vaccinated, and living a healthy lifestyle. But what if you still get sick?
“Stay at home and rest.” This is the first piece of advice given by the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to people suffering from the flu, which has similar symptoms to the Wuhan coronavirus. Here are ways to help a sick person get better at home.
7 Ways to Care for the Sick at Home
1. Give them alone time
Colds, flu, and other viruses spread through human contact. To keep the sickness from spreading throughout your home, keep your loved one isolated from other household members. Assign a separate “recovery room,” preferably one with a window, and limit the number of guests. Plus, the solitude allows the sick person to get much-needed rest.
2. Wear face masks properly
Face masks help protect you from viruses and germs in the air. Make sure you choose the correct type, as masks are designed to filter different things. N95 respirator masks are the best option for airborne viruses. But in a pinch, you can also use surgical masks.
3. Keep everything within reach
Make sure the sick person can get the following without getting up from bed: food, water, medicines, blankets, paper towels, clothes, even books and the remote control for the TV. This way, the sick person does not get tired from moving around, allowing them to heal faster. Better yet, give them a small bell or another way to signal you if they need anything.
4. Store medicines safely
Keep medicines organized in labelled containers. Also, post a copy of the medicine schedule and doses on a nearby wall so that you can check which medicines should be taken at certain times. If you have kids in the house, buy childproof containers and keep them out of reach of little hands.
5. Assign items exclusively for the sick person
Viruses are transmitted via body fluids like mucus and saliva. That’s why it’s a good idea to assign a special plate, glass, utensils, and other personal items. Afterwards, wash them in soap and hot water and air dry.
6. Welcome sunlight and fresh air
Natural light and fresh air can cheer up anyone, but did you know that they also help people heal faster? But if opening a window means letting in polluted air, there are other ways to improve your home’s indoor air quality.
Help the air circulate using electric fans or air-conditioners. Since air-conditioning units lessen humidity, so you may need to run a humidifier to help the sick person breathe more easily.
7. Keep things clean and orderly
Speaking of pollution, keep the house free of dust and clutter. Sweep and mop as often as you can without disrupting daily routines. Change sheets and sanitize hard surfaces, especially doorknobs, chairs, countertops, and other areas that are often touched.
Is your patient sneezing or coughing often? Put a cleaning kit (pail, paper towels, rags/towels, broom, dustpan, mop, alcohol, etc.) nearby. For wiping, it’s better to use disposable paper towels or tissue paper instead of cloth handkerchiefs or rags.
Make sure pathways are clear so that you can be at their side immediately. Speaking of emergencies, you should also clear a path to the door in case you need to rush them out to an ambulance.
This list is by no means complete. But if you follow these steps, you have begun to make your home a healing environment for your sick loved one.
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