When it comes to COVID-19, most people who contact it experience mild illness and can get well soon. Symptoms could last for a few days, and those that have the virus might recover in a week thereabout. However, elderly people are at risk of becoming seriously ill because of their vulnerability to severe illnesses. If you are a home health care provider, and you will be caring for a person that has been diagnosed with COVID-19, here are few tips on how to go about it;
- Have Limited Contact
You should limit your contact with the infected patient. Do not share personal items with the patient such as toothbrushes, bed linen, towels, utensils, or devices. Use a separate bathroom from the patient, if that is possible. You should also always wear a nose mask that is made with at least two layers of tightly woven fabric. Stay away from animals, especially the pets of the patient.
- Protect Yourself Fully
If you need to be within 2 metres of the sick person, ensure that you wear protective wears i.e., a medical mask, disposable gloves, and eye protection. Whenever you need to touch the patient, or their soiled items, wear disposable gloves. Make sure you don’t reuse medical masks or disposable gloves. Wash your hands often for at least 20 seconds, especially after contact with the patient and after removing masks, gloves, and eye protection. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with dirty hands.
- Keep a Clean Environment
Throw used medical masks, gloves, and any other contaminated item in a lined container, and then dispose with household waste. Wash contaminated laundry, masks, and facial coverings with regular wears with hot water, soap, and dry well. At least once every day, clean and disinfect surfaces that are touched often, like laundry containers, toilets, doorknobs, phones, and bedside tables.
- Check Yourself for Symptoms
If you have used the recommended precautions always, then monitor yourself for any symptom for 14 days following your last contact with the patient. Self isolate at home for 14 days from your last contact and contact your local public health authority. Even if you have no symptoms but you have;
- cared for a COVID-19 patient without using protective equipments
- lived with or had a close contact without using the protective equipments
- had direct contact with the body fluid of a COVID-19 patient without wearing the protective equipments.
If you start developing symptoms, quickly isolate yourself and contact your local public health authority for instructions. Try as much as possible to stay away from people or family members. Take all necessary precautions to ensure that the virus does not spread to others.