Coming down with a cold or flu is never
pleasant, but having someone to care for you during this time can help to
alleviate some of the discomfort that comes with cold or flu symptoms.
If you’re in a position where you’re caring
for someone with the flu, there are a number of measures you can take to bring
your loved one some comfort - as well as protecting both yourself and others
them lots of fluids
Preventing dehydration is important when
caring for someone with the cold or flu. Symptoms cause our bodies to lose
water, so making sure that they consume lots of liquid can help to stay
hydrated. Water, diluted fruit juice, coconut water or electrolyte drinks are
all excellent choices.
Warm liquids can be particularly comforting for
someone who’s under the weather - things like warm honey lemon drink, tea,
broths or soups.
People are often most contagious during the
first few days, so it’s best to stay home at the first sign of cold or flu to
prevent infection. If you need to take carer’s leave, your local Capital
Chemist may be able to issue with a workplace leave certificate.
It may also help to move the person to a more
isolated room so that they are less likely to infect other people in the
household. If possible, try to get them to use a separate bathroom to other
people until they have recovered.
a comfortable environment
Blankets, pillows and a hot water bottle on
the couch or bed can help provide some comfort. If the person is congested, you
may wish to use pillows to elevate the person’s head and shoulders. This can
help to prevent mucus from building up in the sinuses. Popping on an
entertaining movie or TV show can help to distract from the discomfort
associated with their symptoms.
A humidifier can help to put moisture back in
the air, which can assist with breathing. It can also be helpful to run the
person a hot shower, especially in the mornings when people tend to feel stuffy
through their sinuses.
Most people will recover from the cold or flu
in a matter of days although sometimes it can last up to two weeks. It’s
important to be mindful that complications can develop which may be serious or
even life-threatening. If the person that you’re caring for has any unusual or
particularly severe symptoms like difficulty breathing or shortness of breath,
trouble walking, severe pain the chest or muscles, persistent dizziness, or seizures,
seek medical attention.
your medicine cabinet
Having a few treatments on hand to alleviate
symptoms can go a long way to making a person feel better. Saline drops or
spray can help to relieve congestion, pain relief medication such as paracetamol
or ibuprofen can help to treat a sore throat or severe headache, and lozenges
can help to soothe the throat and clear the sinuses.
Visit your local Capital Chemist where your
pharmacist can help you select the right treatments.
One of the most difficult parts of caring for
someone who’s ill is making sure that you don’t get sick too. Remember to
regularly wash your hands, clean and disinfect surfaces, wash bed linen, and
have tissues on hand to prevent the spread of bodily fluids.
If possible, try to keep your distance from
the person - however, this isn’t always possible, especially if you’re caring
for a sick child. When cuddling your child, try to position them with their
chin resting on your shoulder, so that their cough is aimed away from your
The flu vaccination takes around two weeks to
be effective, but caring for someone with the cold or flu is a good reminder to
get your flu vaccination if you haven’t already done so. The vaccination is a
quick and easy step that you can take to help protect you and your family
against infection in the future.