ARTICLES / General / AIDS and
Share This Article
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
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
The CDC National AIDS Clearing House (800) 458-5231
AIDS Clinical Trials Information Service (800) 874-2572
AIDS Treatment Information Service (800) 448-0440
On the Internet:
CDC National Center for Infectious Disease-Hospital
The Body: An AIDS Resource