Lifestyle

COVID-19: Home quarantine tips for caring for a patient at home

[ecis2016.org] How can one maintain social distancing at home, if one is infected with the Coronavirus? We get some answers from those who have been through this experience and suffered from COVID-19

India has been hit hard by the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. With hospitalisation for Coronavirus becoming difficult, as hospital wards fill up, people who have mild symptoms or are asymptomatic, are advised to get isolated at home. A recent guideline issued by the government also recommended home isolation treatment, for patients who are clinically diagnosed to have mild or asymptomatic COVID.

You are reading: COVID-19: Home quarantine tips for caring for a patient at home

People who live in small towns or in non-metro cities, usually have big houses and can manage social distancing at their home. People who live in metropolitan cities like Mumbai, hardly have space at home to maintain social distancing.

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In such places, is there a home setup possible, if one or more of the family members are infected with COVID-19? What home quarantine rules should you keep in mind, if your family members have been infected with COVID-19? We tried to find out the answer from the experience of people who have suffered the Coronavirus infection and how they managed to maintain social distancing at home.

Home quarantine guidelines: Who is eligible for home isolation?

It is important that the patient is clinically recognised as having a mild or asymptomatic infection. You can remain in home isolation, provided you have adequate facilities at home. You need to have the support of a caregiver all the time. People with co-morbidities and in the upper age bracket, should get an approval from their treating physician.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Home care and precautions

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Coronavirus (COVID-19): Home care and precautions

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How to home quarantine with family?

Sandeep Jain (name changed), a businessman who lives in Thane, shared his experience of how his family managed everything after he was diagnosed COVID-19 positive. “One evening, I received a call from my friend that he was not feeling well and he had tested COVID-19 positive. Just a day before, I had spent a few hours with that friend. It meant I was probably exposed to the Coronavirus. I immediately informed my wife and parents that I may have been exposed to COVID and immediately self-isolated in a separate room,” explained Jain, who lives in a 2BHK house. “In my home, one room is for my parents and the other one is for us. My two kids sleep in the hall. As I had occupied one room and there was a chance that my wife could be exposed to Corona, she also isolated herself in my parents’ room. My parents and children shared the hall. The next day, my wife and I got tested for COVID-19 and unfortunately, the results of both were positive. She shifted back to our room and we got my parents’ room and hall sanitised immediately. Our medication started and all members were quarantined at home. Fortunately, my parents and kids did not exhibit any symptoms over the next few days. We strictly confined ourselves to our room and got our food and water through a table that was kept near our room door. My parents and children used spray sanitiser all over the place and kept the window open for better ventilation. My case was a mild one and after eight days, my wife and I both tested negative. We stayed isolated as per the government’s home quarantine rules in India. Later, we got our home properly sanitised, before we started moving freely once again in our apartment,” he elaborates.

Home isolation rules: Important points to keep in mind

  • Inform your housing society and your domestic help about the COVID-19 infection at home.
  • Maintain appropriate distance among infected and non-infected family members.
  • Isolate the infected members in the corner/side rooms where footfall is minimum.
  • Separate the room/areas used by infected members using plastic curtains, especially if there are multiple infected members and if there are space constraints.
  • Rearrange the dining and common areas, by shifting tables, decorative items, etc., to make it more spacious, so that you can walk easily to stay more active.
  • Keep common areas properly ventilated and maintain good airflow by opening the windows.
  • The sick member should eat food in his/her room, separately from other members.

According to medical experts, in COVID-19, the most challenging thing is that people are not aware at the starting stage that they are infected and unknowingly, they become spreaders. This is why, in most cases, if one family member gets infected, then, the chances become high that other members would also be COVID-19 positive.

Jain suggests, “It is important to follow the government’s guidelines strictly. Initially, we were a little afraid and thought of moving to a government quarantine facility, so that other members do not get infected from us. We decided to stay at home, because we were not sure if other members were already infected. In that case, in our absence, they would be unable to manage medication and other things. So, we decided to stay isolated at our home only.”

If one or more of your family members have tested positive, then, how you manage your home space will ensure whether the rest of your family members can avoid becoming infected.

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COVID 19 home isolation treatment: What do doctors suggest?

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Dr Abhishek Agarwal, associated as a specialist consultant with a government hospital, suggests: “Home space management can help in maintaining appropriate distancing among family members. It also requires proper ventilation at home and frequent use of sanitisers by all the family members, to stop the spread of Corona. In metros like Mumbai, apartments are usually small. So, effective use of available space may not be easy. The priority should be to isolate the infected members in a corner/side room in such a case. Keep the senior citizens away from infected members. You may use plastic curtains, to separate the hall or a room into different zones. Frequently sanitise door handles, toilets and all commonly-touched home accessories and areas. Keep the windows open for proper ventilation. Sometimes, the symptom may not show in the starting four to five days or more. Therefore, all family members must strictly maintain social distancing. It is crucial to use a separate thermometer, Oximeter, vaporiser and utensils, to avoid transmission of COVID-19 from one person to another. Suppose any family members face difficulty in breathing, uneasiness, drop in oxygen level below 95%, or any unexplained health complication, he or she should immediately consult a doctor or contact a COVID-19 helpline number.”

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It can be difficult for anybody to manage the financial burden brought about by a COVID infection in the family. So, we suggest that you to stay financially prepared in advance, before going for a home isolation. Here’s what you need to do.

COVID 19 and personal financial planning to deal with home isolation

When you live in home isolation, one big challenge that you may face is to manage your financial obligations and money matters. Here is the list of tips that can be helpful for you, to keep yourself financially prepared for a home isolation:

  • Keep your health insurance papers handy at home.
  • In some cases, hospitals or the insurance company may not allow cashless treatment for COVID patients. So, keep sufficient cash at home, to pay for essential supplies, as well as for hospital bills (if required). If anyone is hospitalised, keep all the bills, reports and prescriptions in one place. You can claim the insurance amount through reimbursement, later on.
  • Mobile wallet can be handy, when it comes to ordering food online. So, keep it ready.
  • Ensure that there is sufficient funds in the bank account from which your loan EMIs are deducted, to avoid a repayment default.
  • Provide details of your investments, insurance, bank details, etc., to your family members or a close friend on whom you can rely.
  • Keep your close friend and relatives in the loop about the status of your health.

After recovery from COVID, what to do?

After recovering from COVID-19, you should properly disinfect the room where you were isolated, as well as the other common areas in your home. Remove the curtains, bedsheets, etc. and get it washed properly. You must continue to wear the mask, keep social distancing, avoid crowded places and follow the guidelines recommended by the government to avoid COVID reinfection. Get yourself vaccinated if you are above 18 years, after consulting with your doctor.

Home isolation kit: Essential items

  • Oximeter
  • Thermometer
  • BP and diabetes machine, if you take its medicine
  • Alcohol-based sanitiser
  • Vaporiser
  • COVID-19 home isolation medicine, as prescribed by the doctor

Questions to ask a doctor about COVID 19 home quarantine

  • Check whether it is safe to manage COVID from your home.
  • Get advice regarding Coronavirus medicines for isolating at home.
  • Take the detailed guidelines for home isolation protocols to be followed.
  • Know under what conditions you need to seek COVID-19 hospitalisation.
  • Learn emergency care like Self-Proning techniques, to overcome drop in oxygen levels.
  • How long should I stay in home isolation if I have the Coronavirus disease?

COVID-19 checklist to determine home isolation preparedness

  1. Manage the space at home, to keep other family members safe.
  2. Ensure ventilation, hygiene and cleanliness
  3. Undertake regular health monitoring
  4. Stay positive and stay active
  5. Financial planning for COVID-19

COVID-19 second wave: What you can do to stay safe at home?

  • Do not ignore any symptoms that may relate to a COVID-19 infection.
  • Avoid stepping out of the home unless it is an emergency. Wear a mask when going out from home and sanitise your hands frequently.
  • Ensure proper ventilation at home, by keeping the windows open.
  • Try to maintain distance from a family member who has to frequently step out from home.
  • Properly disinfect areas that are frequently used, such as bathrooms, doorknobs, remotes, the dining table, common sitting areas, etc.



FAQ

How long should I stay in home isolation if I have the Coronavirus disease?

The recommended isolation period is 14 days from the onset of symptoms.

What do I do if I’ve been exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19?

If you believe you have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, you should immediately self-isolate and get yourself tested too.

How many people with the Coronavirus disease are asymptomatic?

Almost 80% of people who are infected with COVID-19 are asymptomatic or only show mild symptoms.

Source: https://ecis2016.org/.
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Source: https://ecis2016.org
Category: Lifestyle

Debora Berti

Università degli Studi di Firenze, IT

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