How to stay safe at home while caring for household members who are Covid-19 positive06 October 2021
How to stay safe at home while caring for household members who are Covid-19 positiveThe key in facing the Covid-19 pandemic is change of behavior. We are now required to always implement basic health protocol of wearing mask, keeping safe distance and avoiding crowd, and washing or sanitizing our h...
How to stay safe at home while caring for household members who are Covid-19 positive
The key in facing the Covid-19 pandemic is change of behavior. We are now required to always implement basic health protocol of wearing mask, keeping safe distance and avoiding crowd, and washing or sanitizing our hands. This is a condition that we must adapt to.
To learn that there are family members in our household who are Covid-19 positive would put pressure on us and makes us worry. While it is important to take care of our ailing members, it is also important for us to take care of our health as we might be exposed to the virus.
According to experts, those who live in close proximity or in the same house/living quarter with Covid-19 patient have a 50% chance to get infected. Transmission by air and the virus’ ability to survive on surfaces in our home for long period of time also increase the level of exposure. If you are living with persons who are Covid-19 positive, these are some prevention steps that you can implement:
- Implement the self-isolation at home protocol.
Home isolation helps a lot of patients recover from Covid-19. It is therefore important to abide by the health protocol such as to stay at home, always wear mask, keep safe distance, wash hands often, and observe cough/sneeze ethics.
Put the infected persons in separate room. Ensure there is no share use of utensils with that persons until they are declared free from the virus. If possible, the infected persons must also use separate or different bathroom and always maintain 1,5 – 2 meters distance from other members. Care provider should minimize interaction with the infected persons: limit the frequency of visit to the persons’ room for utmost needs only. The less we interact, the less is our risk of getting infected.
- Do routine checks at home.
As persons infected with Covid-19 are required to isolate themselves away from society for a total of 14 days, so are persons who give care to them or share living quarter with them. Do temperature check in the morning and in the afternoon, check oxygen saturation and pulse, monitor breathing rate. Ensure nutritious food are taken.
- Do activities that are aligned with self-isolation protocol.
Once we have members who are positive Covid-19, we must adjust our activities, such as: ensuring good air circulation by opening windows, separate laundry for those infected and not, always wear mask when doing our cleaning chores around the house, separate dish washing for those infected, and limit the number of family members gathering in the house. It is important for those caring for patients and living in the same house to always wear mask even inside the house. This is because of high infection risk in close proximity, the ability of virus to survive long in air, which add to the risk of virus transmission to care givers/members. No less important is the proper use of mask. Surgical mask or 3-ply cloth mask must properly cover the nose and mouth. N95 is a good alternative, but it is better to let those who are at high risk of getting infected most to wear them, such as medical community. Wearing gloves would add protection.
- Disinfect and clean surfaces
Virus particles can gather and stay on the surfaces in our home and frequently touched items such as money and glass surface, in AC ventilation, and other surfaces touched by infected persons. Therefore, it is important to disinfect and thoroughly clean surfaces in our home. Please pay extra attention to damp areas where viruses/bacteria usually thrive. Clean and disinfect highly touched items such as door handles, light/electrical switches, gadget screen, and items in public areas. Conform to good sanitation practice. Avoid touching your face, mouth, eyes and nose. Wash your hands with running water and soap for about 20-40 seconds. Use hand sanitizer when water and soap are not available.
- Maintain own physical and mental health
As you care for those who are ill to get better, you must also ensure that your own self is healthy and fit. Caring for ill persons takes its toll on physical, emotional, and mental being, and it is common for care givers to experience many symptoms such as muscle pains, joint pains, and stress. Ensure you have ample nutritious intake, have proper rest, get some sun, and always have Counterpain ready to ease your muscle pains.
Make video calls or phone calls with support group that may comprise your friends or family members that can be trusted and relied on for you to communicate your feelings. This will help you to maintain your personal mental health and wellbeing.
Caring for or living with Covid-19 patients require extra works, but if done properly, everything would be okay. Remember also to have your physician contacts handy for emergency situation and to always monitor the patients’ temperature and oxygen saturation.
We hope these tips would be beneficial to you. Please always abide by the health protocols.
Buku Panduan Isolasi Mandiri. Perhimpunan Dokter Spesialis Penyakit Dalam.
Panduan Pelaksanaan Protokol Kesehatan. Satuan Tugas Penanganan Covid-19.2021