There are some simple things you can
do to help someone with AIDS feel comfortable at home.
Respect their independence and
privacy. Give them control as much as possible. Ask to enter their room,
ask permission to sit with them.
Ask them what you can do to make
them comfortable. Many people feel shy about asking for help, especially
help with things like using the toilet, bathing, shaving, eating, and
Keep the home clean and looking
bright and cheerful.
Let the person with AIDS stay in a
room that is near a bathroom.
Leave items the person needs within
easy reach of the bed or chair.
Bedsores or other broken skin can be a serious problem. Change
positions in bed often. To help keep skin healthy, put extra-soft
material (sheepskin, "egg crate" foam, or a water mattress) under the
person, keep sheets dry and wrinkle free. Massage the back and other
parts of the body (like hips, elbows, and ankles) which press down on
the bed. Report any red or broken areas on the skin to the doctor or
nurse right away.
Even in bed, a person can do simple arm, hand, leg, and foot exercises.
These exercises help prevent stiff, sore joints and help keep the blood
moving. Ask the doctor about Range of Motion exercises.
Back rubs can help with relaxation and circulation. You can learn how
from a nurse, physical therapist or good massage book. If the person
can't get up, put a urinal or bedpan near the bed.
Resources To Know
National Clinicians' Post-exposure Prophylaxis Hotline(PEP-Line)
The CDC National AIDS Clearing House (800) 458-5231
AIDS Clinical Trials Information Service (800) 874-2572
AIDS Treatment Information Service (800) 448-0440
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