Tips on taking care of loved ones during the COVID-19 pandemic

COVID-19 has created abrupt changes in the lives of people across the world. With reports of the surge in coronavirus cases and deaths in Uganda as well, the president issued a total nationwide lockdown for 42 days to curb the spread of the virus. This means we are spending a lot of time at home with our loved ones. 

It is important to know how we can take care of our loved ones who have COVID-19 and those who don’t. In this piece, we share tips on how we can do that.

So, how can you take care of a loved one with COVID-19?

Always wear a mask.
One of the most important things we need to consider is consistently wearing a mask while we take care of our people. Masks help in ensuring that, as a caretaker, you don’t get infected especially when the patient coughs or sneezes. If you are using a medical mask, throw it in a bin at the end of the day. If you use a cloth mask, wash and dry it at the end of the day.

Wear disposable gloves.
As you take care of a patient, wear gloves especially when in close contact with their body fluids, like sweat, saliva, and mucus. The gloves will help avoid the transfer of the virus from your hands to your nose, and mouth. Remember to dispose of the gloves in a bin after use.

Limit contact with the patient.
To limit contact with the patient, place them in a separate room that has good air circulation. It is difficult to stay away from our loved ones especially when they are unwell, but preventing the spread of the virus is still crucial.

Follow the doctor’s orders.
Support the patient to follow their doctor’s instructions for care like taking their medication and drinking plenty of fluids. This will help them recover faster.

Always wash/sanitize your hands.
As a caregiver, always wash your hands with soap and water, sanitize and disinfect surfaces. The coronavirus usually lasts a few hours on surfaces such as tables and clothes. So to avoid the transfer of the virus from the surfaces to you, ensure that they are regularly disinfected.

Limit hosting visitors.
Many a time we want friends and family around us, but if you have a patient, kindly limit or avoid hosting visitors. The visitors could have been in contact with an infected person and may even be carriers of the virus. You can never be too safe. 

Not all of us are taking care of sick people. Even while taking care of those without the virus it is important to wear a mask, sanitize and wash hands to avoid the spread of the virus. 

If you are always around children, the elderly, and those with long term conditions like diabetes and hypertension; we need to protect them and ourselves.

Ending the spread of the coronavirus starts with you. Stay home. Stay safe. 

For more information on how to keep yourself and your loved ones safe, dial *280*1# to consult with the doctor. 

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