Homecare: How to be a caregiver to a family member with COVID

Published October 25, 2021, 8:01 PM

by Manila Bulletin


Homecare may be possible for a family member who tested positive for COVID-19 depending on the gravity of the symptoms. This will be determined by the Barangay Health Unit of your local government unit who will visit the patient and interview the family members. Or you can consult a doctor who can treat and monitor the patient via teleconsult.

The next step should be assigning a caregiver who can be a family member, or a hired professional caregiver.

Here are things for the caregiver to remember:

1. Prepare a room for quarantine. The room should have an attached bathroom. According to Bida Solusyon Sa COVID-19, a guideline from Department of Health (DOH), the room should be well ventilated. The patient’s beddings should be changed daily.

2. Always wear a mask and keep a safe distance. Strictly follow the IATF protocols for safety and health –always wear a mask and face shield and maintain a safe distance of at least a meter from the patient.

3. Follow doctor’s instructions. Remind the patient to drink medicines prescribed by the doctor on time. Also remind the patient to follow advice related to rest, nutrition and fluid intake.

4. Mild to moderate symptoms. If the patient has a fever, check his or her temperature every four hours. Consult a doctor on the medication to keep the fever down.

5. Keep clean. The DOH guideline advises patients to take a bath every day if possible.

6. Watch out for alarming symptoms. According to Bida Solusyon Sa COVID-19 guideline, watch out for symptoms such as difficulty in breathing; cough and fever; disorientation or mental unstableness; chest pain; low oxygen level; sleepiness or refusing to wake up; blue lips and face.

People who can’t be a caregiver

Not everyone can be a caregiver. People who are not suitable to nurse COVID-19 patients are adults ages 60 years and above; obese people; individuals who suffer from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD); an immunocompromised (inclusive of solid organ transplant recipients); and those with Chronic Kidney Disease, Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus, Sickle Cell Disease. Pregnant women and people with severe heart conditions such as heart failure, coronary heart disease, cardiomyopathies, and other high-risk diseases do not qualify to be caregivers as well.