The Basics of Caring for Someone with COVID-19

October 28, 2022

When someone you love is sick, you want to help them feel better. You want to take care of them and keep them safe.

But what if they have COVID-19? What can you do to help them feel better?

Caring for someone with COVID-19 can feel figuratively and literally isolating. If someone has active symptoms, they’re probably quarantining and you may have to as well. And with so much information out there about COVID-19 treatment, it can be overwhelming to decide what to do.

Luckily, you can often take care of someone with COVID-19 with things you already have at home — one of them being your phone. COVID-19 treatment often focuses on supportive measures which simply means focusing on rest and relieving symptoms as needed.

The On/Go Advanced Care Toolkit has resources available 24/7 to support you as you support those you love with testing and treatment tools.

The On/Go app is the easiest and quickest way to get treatment like Paxlovid prescribed and delivered to the door often in just a couple of hours. 

Let’s go over some of the things you can do to support someone with an active COVID-19 infection.

(Your) Safety First

The first rule of caring for someone with COVID-19 is making sure you can keep yourself healthy. If you are someone who is considered at risk for a serious infection if you got COVID-19, you’ll want to take the necessary steps to reduce your risk of getting sick.

If you’re 65 years old or older, have a chronic illness like heart or lung disease, or are immunocompromised due to medication, you may be at an increased risk of a severe COVID-19 infection.

Clean your living spaces to reduce the spread of germs that may be sitting on everyday surfaces. Things like kitchen and bathroom countertops, door handles, and tabletops should be wiped down with your household cleaning supplies frequently.

Limiting the time spent around your loved one is another way to reduce your risk of infection, but that can be difficult for many caregivers. Young children and elderly parents often need help that requires you to be in close contact for long periods of time for example bathing and dressing.

Wear a well-fitting mask as much as you can when you need to spend time around the person who is sick and wash your hands frequently to reduce your risk of contracting COVID-19.

Next, Cover the Basics

When it comes to caring for someone with COVID-19 who has mild to moderate symptoms, you will likely take care of them like you would if they had any other virus like the flu or cold.

Make sure they stay well-hydrated with plenty of fluids. Water, tea, and Gatorade as well as soups and broth are all ways to keep hydrated.

Most of the symptoms caused by COVID-19 including fever, cough, and congestion can be treated with over-the-counter medications. Ensuring you have these on hand if needed can improve the comfort of the person who is sick and help them rest while they recover.

As far as logistics go, help your loved one with chores and errands. Pick up prescriptions or groceries as needed. COVID-19 often causes extreme fatigue making simple tasks like doing laundry or taking care of pets difficult.

Even something as small as helping fold clean clothes or taking their dog for a walk can relieve stress from your loved one.

Preparing meals is another way to support someone with COVID-19. In today’s world of meal delivery services, providing food has never been easier. Even if you don’t have access to those services, you can provide food without making it complicated. Have nutritious snacks and fresh fruits or vegetables available to help nourish your loved one while they heal.

Know When to Ask for Help

Most people who have COVID-19 can manage their symptoms at home, especially when they have someone like you helping take care of them. But there are certain things that mean someone needs additional attention from their healthcare team or even the hospital.

If their symptoms worsen quickly or if new ones appear and you’re unsure how to best help them, call their healthcare team for advice.

You should seek immediate medical attention or call 911 for your loved one if you notice any of the following:

Needing a little help doesn’t have to be just because your loved one has gotten sicker. You could also need support from someone else if you’re feeling the symptoms of caregiver fatigue.

Feeling worried about them, stressing about what to do, and exhaustion from providing 24/7 care to someone can lead to caregiver fatigue or burnout. Asking for help, even if it’s just for a few hours, can make a big difference in your mental well-being.

Remember, You’re Not Alone

At this point millions of people have had COVID-19 — but that doesn’t always take away the feeling that you have to figure everything out on your own.

Taking care of someone with COVID-19 can be stressful and exhausting. You may not always know what to do or what to say.

The On/Go Advanced Care Toolkit provides support not only to those who have COVID-19, but also to their caregivers. On the On/Go app, you can find resources and information about how to take care of someone with COVID-19 including rapid testing and treatment options.

If you haven’t had COVID-19 recently, you may need to test yourself frequently while caring for someone with COVID-19. You are at a much higher risk as a caregiver and it’s important to know as soon as possible if you become infected.

You can order kits that are mailed directly to you and submit your results for review by a healthcare professional. You can also find COVID-19 treatment options including Paxlovid prescriptions and telehealth visits with a healthcare provider within the Advanced Care Toolkit.

Download the app to find the Advanced Care Toolkit resources and get better faster.

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