For About and By Caregivers

AIDS and Comfort

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 dressing.

  • 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) (888)448-4911 

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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