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