Providing a patient with post-COVID home care is a unique challenge that requires patience, knowledge, and attention to detail. Learn what to do when your loved one has common symptoms of long COVID or is struggling to return to their pre-COVID health status.
Older unvaccinated adults are more likely to be hospitalized or die from the COVID-19 illness. The COVID-19 infection was initially considered a respiratory condition, but doctors now have a clearer picture of the sickness and the implications for long-term health, especially on patients who are not fully vaccinated.
Post-COVID syndrome, or long COVID, can affect multiple organs in the body. Common symptoms in patients 65 and older include increased risk for respiratory failure, post-viral fatigue, joint pain, and dementia. While much is still unknown about the long-term consequences of exposure, it remains true that COVID home care for older adults and others during and after their initial recovery is essential.
Supporting an older adult during an active COVID-19 infection and afterwards is challenging. Symptoms can vary greatly, and helping your loved one regain their health following recovery takes time, attention, and significant mental and emotional fortitude.
If the older adult in your care isn’t fully vaccinated and has fallen ill, follow these tips to offer effective home care to your family member during and after recovery:
Assist your friend or family member with their doctor’s instructions. If a doctor recommends certain medicine and other recovery aids, provide them. Make sure the sick person drinks plenty of fluids and gets a lot of rest. Also, be sure they wash their hands frequently under warm water for at least 20 seconds.
Fill needed prescriptions and handle all grocery shopping on their behalf. If possible, have items delivered to avoid close contact with healthy people. Keep their doctor’s number close at hand, and if they get sicker, don’t hesitate to call 911 and let the medical professionals know that your family member may be struggling with long COVID.
There’s no shame in asking for help providing home care to your loved one. MDC Healthcare is ready to support you with excellent care services.
Common COVID-19 symptoms for older adults and others include trouble breathing, persistent chest pain, new confusion, and fatigue. The virus can spread through close contact with the infected, so when providing care to a family member, stay at least 6 feet away from them.
If you share a space with the sick person, wear a mask and open windows to circulate the air. Ventilation helps remove respiratory droplets from the air, reducing the chances of spreading the infection. Wash all used dishes and cutlery using hot water, soap, and gloves. Wash your hands thoroughly after cleaning the items.
Long COVID symptoms can last weeks or months after being infected with COVID-19. The following complications may occur in any patient who experienced COVID-19, even if their sickness was mild or they didn’t show symptoms:
- Issues sleeping
- Mood changes
- Pins-and-needles sensation
Because the common symptoms of long COVID vary, there’s no one way to assist with recovery. Maintaining a healthy diet, getting a lot of rest, and exercising are helpful ways to take care of the body and minimize the severity of the symptoms. Caregivers should support their loved one by listening to their concerns and assisting them with daily activities whenever possible. Ask questions and lend a compassionate ear.
Some older adults struggle to achieve a healthy weight after suffering from COVID-19. If your loved one needs to gain weight, experts recommend providing frequent, small meals of nutrient-rich foods. Avoid foods with excess sugar and saturated fats and keep a supply of healthy snacks around the house.
Recovery is a gradual process. Remind your family member that overcoming post-COVID conditions is a day-to-day project. Stimulate them with activities that challenge them to rebuild their physical and mental condition, like puzzles and light exercise. Transition into their everyday routine, looking for warning signs of a troubled recovery, such as a persistent headache, issues sleeping, and fatigue.
Navigating the post-COVID landscape is challenging, especially when you don’t have the time, resources, or experience required for effective caregiving. MDC Healthcare helps your older adult family member stay home and supports them with the home care services they need to feel comfortable and independent.
Our respite care services are there for you when you need a break from looking after your family member, and our personal care program helps your family member lead a productive life while they recover from COVID-19 or deal with post-COVID complications. When you partner with MDC Healthcare, we provide you with a caregiver who is a match for your family on every level—from personal experience to your unique care requirements.
There’s no shame in getting help with caregiving, and we’re ready to assist you the moment you need it.
MDC Healthcare delivers customizable, affordable, and culturally sensitive in-home health services to communities in Georgia.