Before you can take adequate care of someone who is living with Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), you will typically have to learn about the disease. For example, you may do well to gain in-depth information about how it is spread and what a patient with the disease can expect in terms of health problems. This information may help you separate fact from fiction when it comes to AIDS and figure out how to provide the best possible care for the AIDS patient.
You may start learning the best ways to care for someone who is living with AIDS by speaking with his doctors and nurses. While you will typically need to obtain authorization to obtain details about the patient’s specific case, the patient’s doctors and nurses may be able to provide you with important suggestions for providing optimal care. Additionally, you may ask the patient’s doctors and nurses for information you have not been able to obtain through your own research.
It is important to realize that some measure of independence may be important for a person who is living with AIDS. For this reason, you may wish to avoid making all of the decisions for the AIDS patient. Instead, you may do well to allow the patient to exercise his independence by choosing meals, exercise routines, and daily schedules. In such a case, your role may to support the patient’s decisions, facilitate the plans he makes, and provide guidance in making healthy choices.
When you are caring for someone who is living with AIDS, you may also help by creating a comfortable home environment. You may take steps, for example, to keep the patient’s home environment clean, well lit, and pleasant looking. You may also ensure that the patient’s sleeping quarters are close to a bathroom and position towels, paper towels, toilet paper, and trash cans within easy reach. Placing extra blankets near the patient's bed may help as well.
Emotional support may also prove important for someone who is living with AIDS. You may help by listening when he wants to talk and including him in your conversations and activities. The person for whom you are caring may also want to feel needed, so enlisting his help from time to time may help to boost his confidence. Additionally, physical touch, such as hugging and holding hands, may help to prevent him from feeling depressed and cut off from others.