Caring for COVID-19 Patients
Blog updated April 4, 2020
The coronavirus poses a serious threat to everyone and is particularly dangerous for the senior population. Even so, for most patients, in-home care is preferable to hospitalization. Most patients do recover after several weeks, and they do better with individualized care at home. Home care also keeps you or your loved one from spreading the disease in the community. When you care for patients at home, your job is to monitor their condition and help ease their symptoms while protecting yourself.
The coronavirus is highly contagious with a much higher fatality rate than other viruses like the flu. Although it can cause a serious respiratory illness, COVID-19, 80% of patients suffer no or relatively mild symptoms. The elderly and those with underlying medical conditions are most susceptible to the illness.
The World Health Organization has issued guidelines for home care of coronavirus patients. Their prevention recommendations include the following:
- Isolate the patient. If possible put the patient in a well-ventilated room, preferably with access to their own bathroom. Limit shared spaces.
- Wash your hands. You need to wash your hands after any contact with the patient and before and after preparing food, using the toilet, etc.
- Wear personal protective gear. If you have access to nitrile gloves and protective masks, wear them. If not, continue washing your hands frequently and consider making your own mask per CDC pattern.
- Disinfection. Disinfect surfaces frequently, especially in the bathroom, kitchen and other shared areas.
- Laundry. Wash the patient's clothes and yours at 140 -194 degrees Fahrenheit in order to kill the virus..
Currently there are no specific treatments for the coronavirus, although some drug trials are underway. Instead, follow the doctor's orders to relieve symptoms. You need to monitor the patient's temperature and breathing. Shortness of breath, especially in the elderly, will usually require hospitalization. In milder cases, you can help the patient by doing the following:
- Administer the approved dose of OTC pain medication
- Use OTC cold and flu medications per the doctor
- Keep the patient warm and well-hydrated
- Try traditional cold remedies such as hot tea with lemon and chicken soup to ease the throat.
- Limit activities
- Encourage rest
Again, most patients can recover completely at home, including the elderly, if they have only mild or moderate symptoms. However, vulnerable populations will need trained nursing help.
The Senior Company
Some healthcare companies are not accepting new clients or caring for those affected with the virus. However, The Senior Company and its employees take pride in being on the front lines and are actively accepting those who need help at this time.
At The Senior Company, we have taken stringent measures to make certain our nursing staff is virus free and completely knowledgeable about treatment and prevention measures. You can trust us to care for you or your loved one by following the latest guidance from medical experts at WHO and the CDC. By following best practices, we help you stay safe during this difficult time.