As the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 continues to surge in many parts of the country, families are increasingly being thrust into the role of caretakers for their loved ones after they are discharged from the ICU. This can be a daunting and overwhelming task, especially when the patient is still very sick and requires around-the-clock care.
There are a few things that families can do to help make the transition from the hospital to home a little easier. First, it’s important to understand the patient’s care needs and make sure that everyone in the household is on the same page about their care. This includes things like medications, scheduling, and overall expectations.
It can also be helpful to hire outside help, either in the form of a home health aide or a hospice nurse. These professionals can provide much-needed assistance with things like personal care, wound care, and other medical needs.
Above all, it’s important to be patient and understanding. Caring for a sick loved one is challenging under any circumstances, but it can be especially difficult when they are still recovering from a serious illness. Try to be flexible and go with the flow as much as possible.
There are a number of unique challenges that family members face when they are caring for COVID patients after ICU discharge. One of the biggest challenges is the risk of infection. Family members need to take precautions to protect themselves, such as wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) and avoiding contact with the patient’s secretions.
Another challenge is the patient’s mental health. COVID patients often experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other psychological issues. Family members need to be aware of these issues and be prepared to provide support.
Finally, there is the issue of financial burden. Many COVID patients have to continue to pay for their own medical care, even after they are discharged from the ICU. This can be a significant financial burden on families.
Fortunately, there are a number of resources available to help families cope with these challenges. There are support groups, financial assistance programs, and other resources that can help.