Even after a few decades since HIV and AIDS became prevalent all over the world, scientists have been unable to find a cure for these illnesses. However, most of the time, patients do not need to be in a hospital. In fact, one of the best places for these patients to be cared for; is their home. With the right care and support from the family, these patients can live a quality life for years to come. Here are some tips for the family members of HIV patients, about what best they can do for their loved one:
- A patient with AIDS is susceptible to depression; given the lethal nature of the illness and the social stigma attached to it. Hence, it is important to boost the confidence of patients and maintain their dignity. This can be achieved by giving them as much control as possible. For example: you can knock before entering their room, and let them do their own tasks. This will prevent a feeling of dependency in them.
- Simple gestures can make a lot of difference. Touch them, pat them, hold their hands and hug them to show that you care. Touch is a powerful way of showing your love. Have frequent outings together. Go to social events or for shopping. Walk around the block or just into a park and breathe fresh air.
- Ensure that they are taking their medications without fail. They may be prescribed drugs like Viracept (an antiretroviral containing Nelfinavir) that helps in controlling the spread of the HIV virus in the body. Doctors usually advise patients to take Viracept tablets 2-3 times a day. You can consult a doctor to learn about the exact dosage and ensure that the patient takes it exactly as recommended.
Some more tips to help the patient feel comfortable:
- Respect their privacy
- Include them in decision making for household matters
- Spend time with them
- Keep the home clean and looking cheerful and bright
- Let the patient stay in a room closer to a bathroom
- Prevent infections by maintaining good hygienic surroundings
- Encourage them to eat a healthy, nutritious dietProviding right support and regular treatment with Viracept can help most people with HIV/AIDS lead an active life for a long time to come.