Sunday, 25 December 2011

Tips for caregivers of a person with flu



You may be lucky not to get the flu, but that does not mean you can completely avoid the consequences of influenza. Learn how to care for a person who has the flu. This season, you may be lucky enough to avoid contracting the flu, but flu can still have an impact on your life. You may need to take care of a person who has the flu. But do not panic - here's how to take care of the person with the flu and to protect you while you are caring for him.

When you treat a person with flu

• Prepare, as far as possible, a room for sick person. The fact to keep in a separate room could prevent the flu from spreading to other family members.

• Sort the personal belongings of the patient (his glass, his briefcase, his washcloth, toothbrush) to keep them in a separate place from the rest of the family. Each person will have their ill effects.

• Avoid being face to face with the person who has the flu. Keep to a minimum contact with it. If you have a child with the flu in your arms, put his chin on your shoulder. So it does not cough in your face.

• Wash your hands often by using an appropriate technique. Wash your hands after touching the patient, his tissues, and his clothing or other personal items before and after eating and before touching your eyes, mouth or nose and after.

• Clean and disinfect hard surfaces (eg. Doorknobs, light switches, bedside tables, desks and telephones).

• Know what complications may arise. Most of those seized will feel better within days. However, complications such as pneumonia may occur. Be on the lookout for warning signs, this is especially important when the patient is suffering from a medical condition that constitutes a risk factor for complications. Closely monitor the health of the person taking her temperature every day. You can also watch for signs such as:

- the return of a fever after improvement of symptoms;
- the onset of difficulty breathing, shortness of breath or wheezing;
- Blood in the sputum;
- a purplish or bluish lips;
- chest pain;
- difficulty waking up, behavior quieter than usual, of strange thoughts or actions;
- the development of diarrhea, vomiting or abdominal pain;
- symptoms due to dehydration such as dizziness when standing, low urine output or a dry mouth or eyes. Infants and toddlers can produce only a few tears (or even not at all) when they cry or have a soft spot and hollow at the top of the skull.

Take care of yourself

• Avoid as much as possible to cure a sick person, if you have a medical condition such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease, weakened immune systems or other conditions that increase your risk for complications of influenza as pneumonia, bronchitis or worsening of your condition.

• Ask your doctor if taking an antiviral drug would be appropriate in your case. The use of antiviral drugs can prevent influenza following close contact with a person with the flu, as a member of the same family, for example.

• Watch for signs of stress that you may incur. The act of treating a sick person can be stressful, learn how to reduce stress. If at some point, the situation seems overwhelming, do not hesitate to ask for help or to contact your health care provider.

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