Home care for a loved one with Covid-19

Even with the national lockdown in place, the Covid-19 virus will still find opportunity to spread, and it may well become necessary for you to care for someone who may have Covid-19. We have put together the following guidelines for those members who may have to provide home care for someone who is self-quarantined due to potential or confirmed Covid-19 infection.

PRINT OUR EASY COVID SYMPTOM TRACKER!

Tracking your or a loved one’s Covid-19 symptoms will not only help your doctor treat you in the short term, but may also prove useful in treating any potential symptoms of so-called ‘long Covid’. Simply download and print our symptom tracker and tick the symptoms experienced per day.

CHOOSE THE CAREGIVER

  • Choose one healthy person to give care.
  • If you are at higher risk of serious illness from Covid-19, you should not care for someone with Covid-19. This includes elderly persons, those with chronic conditions (e.g., heart disease, diabetes) or those with weak immune systems.

PROTECT YOURSELF (AND LOVED ONES)

  • Do not share personal items such as towels, bedding, toothbrushes, cutlery, dishes or electronic devices with the ill person.
  • Use a separate bathroom from the ill person if possible. If not possible, the ill person should put the toilet lid down before flushing.
  • Stay in a different room from the ill person, or if that is not possible, maintain a distance of at least 1 meter from the sick person (e.g., sleep in a separate bed).
  • If you need to be within 2 metres of the ill person, wear a face mask (covering your nose and mouth) and disposable gloves.
  • Wear disposable gloves when touching the ill person, their environment and dirty items or surfaces.
  • Do not re-use face masks or gloves.
  • If your face mask gets damp or dirty from the ill person’s body fluids (e.g., coughed or sneezed on), it must be replaced.
  • Clean your hands often for at least 20 seconds, especially after contact with the ill person and after removing gloves and face masks. Use water and soap or alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Dry your hands with disposable paper towels. If not available, use a cloth towel and replace it when it becomes damp.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.

KEEP YOUR ENVIRONMENT CLEAN

  • Place used face masks, gloves and other contaminated items in a lined container/waste bin with a lid. Be sure to close the bag fully and dispose of them with other household waste. Wash hands afterwards.
  • Place possibly contaminated laundry into a container with a plastic liner. Do not shake the laundry out before washing and avoid contact with your skin.
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    • Wash with regular laundry soap and water or machine wash with hot water (60-90°C), and dry completely.
    • Clothing and linens belonging to the ill person can be washed with other laundry.
  • At least once daily clean and disinfect surfaces that people touch often, such as toilets, taps, laundry containers, bedside tables/frames, doorknobs, light switches, phones and television remotes.
  • High-touch electronic devices (e.g., keyboards, touch screens of cellphones or tablets) may be disinfected with 70% alcohol (e.g., alcohol prep wipes) at least daily.

MONITOR YOURSELF FOR SYMPTOMS

  • If you always followed the recommended guidelines, then monitor yourself for symptoms for 14 days following your last contact with the ill person.
  • If you have had direct contact with body fluids of the ill person (e.g., coughed or sneezed on when you weren’t wearing a face mask), contact your healthcare provider for further instructions.
  • If you develop symptoms, isolate yourself as quickly as possible and contact your healthcare provider for further instructions.

CONTACT NUMBERS

  • NICD 24-hour Hotline: 0800 029 999
  • WhatsApp Support Hotline:
    WhatsApp ‘Hi’ to 0600 123 456