This post is a guide for healthcare professionals who coordinate home care and isolation for people who don’t need hospitalisation but are suspected or confirmed to suffer from COVID-19.
This also includes patients that are evaluated as outpatients, meaning that they are medically stable and can recover at home with care. It also includes patients discharged after hospitalisation with confirmed COVID-19 infection.
It is advised that people who meet the above criteria remain in home isolation until the risk of secondary transmission is low. Please note that this document is not for patients in healthcare settings.
Make Sure The Home Care Residence is Suitable
A healthcare professional should consult with colleagues to assess whether the residential setting is appropriate for home care. When checking the residence for appropriateness, the following should be considered:
- The patient should be stable enough to receive care at home.
- There should be enough caregivers at home.
- Every patient has a separate bedroom where they can recover while maintaining social distance from others.
- The patient should have access to food and other resources.
- The patient and the members of their household can follow the precautions provided for isolation and homecare. While the healthcare professional can wear a cloth face cover while caring for the ill individual, it is still unknown how effective the cloth cover is. As such, the healthcare provider may have to supplement the face cover with a bandana or scarf.
- Identify if there are other members of the household who may be at an increased risk of contracting the virus.
Precautions to Take When Caring for People With COVID-19
- Make sure that the sick person rests, eats nutritious foods, and drinks lots of fluids.
- When in the same room with a sick person, wear a mask. Avoid touching the mask or the face while using it. Discard the mask afterwards.
- Clean your hands with water and soap or using an alcohol-based hand sanitiser. Clean your hands:
- After contact with the sick person or anything in their surroundings.
- Before, during, and after making their food.
- Before eating.
- After using the toilet.
- Use specific cups, dishes, utensils, bed linens, and towels for the ill person. When washing these items after they are used by the sick person, use soap and water.
- Identify the surfaces frequently touched by the sick person and clean and disinfect them regularly.
- In case the sick person experiences difficulty breathing or worsens, call your healthcare facility.
It is important to observe the guidelines outlined in this post when providing home care for patients who do not need hospitalisation for the COVID-19 disease. In this post, we have covered how to make sure that the home is a suitable residence and precautions to take for people with COVID-19.
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