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How to Take Care of a Loved One Infected with COVID-19

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Usually, when a loved one is under the weather, the natural instinct is to provide them with as much care and comfort as possible. However, caring for a loved one who is infected with COVID-19 is not as simple, for there is a risk of transmission. And in case the caretaker gets infected, they get incapacitated from caring for themselves.
Such instances are not uncommon in this pandemic. These instances have generated fear among people from opting for home-treatment. People are relying on hospital care even in non-severe cases, increasing the burden on healthcare machinery. In order to avoid this, it is important for people to have a know-how about caring for a loved one infected by COVID-19 at home for non-serious cases.
Following are some of the practices recommended by experts with regard to caring for a COVID-19 patient at home safely while avoiding transmission.

Isolation

COVID-19 transmission occurs when an infected patient comes in direct contact with other people. Therefore, if a loved one has COVID-19, the first step in home isolation. If possible, the infected family member should remain quarantined in a separate room where they will eat and sleep, and they should use a separate bathroom.

Entering the Patient’s Room

The patient can stay at home in case the symptoms are not too severe. In such a case, it is not harmful to family members to go into the infected party’s room to drop off food, but both the patient and the caregiver should wear a mask, and if possible, an inexpensive plastic face shield or lab goggles to cover your eyes in addition to your nostrils and mouth as eyes are a potential entry point for the virus.

Performing Chores for the Patient

Experts have said, it is appropriate to perform chores for the patient such as preparing food, doing their dishes, cleaning their room, changing their sheets, etc. However, the caretaker must ensure that the dishes are done thoroughly using soapy water, clothes and sheets should also be put for washing with detergent immediately after its removal. The caretaker must also wash their hands immediately after coming in contact with anything touched by the patient. They should wash their hands even otherwise.

Treatment of the patient

The caretaker needs to ensure that the patient does not slip to the critical stage. Therefore, careful monitoring of their health is important. For this, they should check temperatures of the patient twice a day while expecting a higher number in the afternoon than early morning.
A helpful tool in caring for a COVID-19 patient is a pulse oximeter. A Pulse Oximeter can be used to measure oxygen levels of the patient. High readings in the 90s to 100s in a pulse oximeter is considered normal. A number in the low 90s is alarming. In case those are the results, the caretaker needs to seek medical attention for the patient immediately.
The caregiver should have a physician or a health-care contact whom they can contact at any time and keep them updated regarding the recovery of the patient in order to ensure effective recovery of the loved one. It is always beneficial if the physician is aware of the medical history of the patient so that they can pick up signs of danger early on and can save the life of the patient.
The symptoms to look out for in the patients include difficulty in breathing, fever spiking (especially in older people), delirium or signs of dehydration like fatigue, dizziness or overly-yellow urine.

Mental support to the patient

The recovery process of COVID-19 is slow, taxing and done in isolation. This can affect the mental health of the patient along with their physical health. Protecting the mental health of the patients is the main USP of at-home care for the patients. The patients at home can feel loved and cared for by the family. The caregiver or even the family members can visit the patient a few times a day to ask about their well-being, provided that they take the necessary precaution in terms of maintaining social distancing and hygiene.
It is important to note that we are fighting with the pandemic. Not its victims. Unnecessary boycotting of patients will not lead to anything but more transmission of the disease. The wise thing to do at this time is, follow all the precautionary measures and hope for the best.