Some of the issues involved when caring for your loved one with AIDS.
One of the best places for people with AIDS to be cared for is at home, surrounded by the people who love them. Most of the time, people with AIDS don’t need to be in a hospital, and many can lead active lives for years. Being at home often is less expensive, more comfortable, and more familiar, and it gives people with AIDS more control of their lives. A person with AIDS often recover faster and with less discomfort at home when the he or she is in the company of their friends and loved ones.
If you’re caring for someone with AIDS at home, remember that each person is affected by HIV—the virus that causes AIDS—in different ways. You should get regular updates from a doctor on what kind of care is needed. Many times, your loved one won’t need medical care, just help with the normal chores of life: shopping, getting the mail, paying bills, cleaning the house, and so on.
Also remember that AIDS causes stress on both the person who is sick and on the caregiver. Caring for someone with AIDS is a serious responsibility. You will have to work with your loved one to decide what needs to be done, how much you can do, and when additional help will be needed. But, by rising to the challenges of caring for someone with HIV infection and AIDS, you can share emotionally satisfying experiences—even joy—with those you love. You may also find new strengths within yourself.
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Adapted from Caring for Someone with AIDS at Home: A Guide, ACTIS Publication No. D817, United States Department of Health and Human Services, AIDS Clinical Trial Information Service.