One of the best places for people with AIDS to be cared for is at home, surrounded by the people who love them. Many people living with AIDS can lead an active life for long periods of time. Most of the time, people with AIDS do not need to be in a hospital. Being at home is often cheaper, more comfortable, more familiar, and gives them more control of their life. In fact, people with AIDS-related illnesses often get better faster and with less discomfort at home with the help of their friends and loved ones.
If you are caring for someone with AIDS at home, remember that each person with AIDS is different and is affected by HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, in different ways. You should get regular updates from the person's doctor or nurse on what kind of care is needed. Many times what is needed is not medical care, but 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 you as you care for them. Caring for someone with AIDS is a serious responsibility. You will have to work with the person with AIDS to decide what needs to be done, how much you can do, and when additional help is 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 can also find new strengths within yourself. But you need to take care of yourself as well as the person with AIDS.
This article was provided by AIDSinfo. It is a part of the publication Caring for Someone With AIDS at Home. Visit the AIDSinfo website to find out more about their activities and publications.