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How to Take Care of Someone with the Flu

How to Take Care of Someone with the Flu

You may currently find yourself in the position of caretaker for a loved one who is sick with the flu. We've put together a helpful guide so you'll know exactly how to take care of them and help them recover quickly. 
A woman comforts a young boy laying in her lap

How to help them feel comfortable 

  1. Designate a "sick room." This will help prevent the spread of the flu and also help make them more comfortable.
  2. Let them rest. Encourage a lot of sleep. 
  3. Administer over-the-counter medications and track when you give them medication to avoid over-medicating. 
  4. Give them bland foods that won't upset their stomach. 
  5. Encourage drinking a lot of fluid. 
  6. Get them lots of pillows and blankets and ensure their bed is comfortable. Try to change bed sheets daily.
  7. Help them change clothing (if needed) and monitor closely for chills or a fever.
  8. Open the windows occasionally or use an air purifier to circulate fresh air. (We recommend the AirSoap.)
  9. Keep the area they are in clean and tidy. 

Best medications to use

what medications to use

For non over-the-counter medication, see your doctor. Most over-the-counter medicines will work to relieve symptoms and pain from the flu. 

  • Anti-inflammatory (ibuprofen)
  • Cough syrup
  • Sore throat sprays
  • Decongestants

For more details on specific medications, check out this article from Verywell Health.

How much rest should someone with the flu get?

For someone sick with the flu, rest is essential. This isn't the time to binge Netflix late into the night. Go to bed early and sleep in late. Even take some naps. Sleep will help your body recover and reduce the chance of more severe flu complications like pneumonia. 

How musch fluid should someone with the flu drink?

Mayo Clinic recommends 64 ounces for most body types and sizes. Many symptoms of the flu can cause your body to lose a lot of liquids. Vomiting, diarrhea, and fevers can deplete your body's fluid and lead to dehydration. 

Look for these signs to tell if the person you are caring for is dehydrated:

  • Dark urine
  • Extreme thirst
  • Headache
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Lack of tears or saliva

Hydrating too much can also have negative effects on your body, such as nausea, confusion, or fatigue. When you are sick, increase your fluid intake but don't go overboard. 

Water in a cup

When should you take someone who is sick with the flu to the hospital? 

Take the person you are caring for to the hospital if they are experiencing any of these:

  • Pain or pressure in chest or abdomen
  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Severe or consistent vomiting
  • Confusion
  • Sudden or frequent dizziness

Use your best judgment when caring for someone with the flu and try to make sure they are comfortable and their needs are met. And don't forget to sanitize and disinfect everything you two touch so the sickness won't spread. We recommend using a UV sanitizer like the PhoneSoap or HomeSoap for items like your phone, controllers, remotes, utensils, and other hard, non-porous items. 

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