Home based care is a mechanism of care provision which includes the following components:
Care providers should always ensure that a patient receives adequate attention on the following:
Treatment of opportunistic infections and appropriate nursing care at all times
ART- monitoring for early side effects and continuous adherence
Pain relief with appropriate medication (.e.g., use of NSAID’s, codeine and other opoids such as liquid morphine)
Nutritional care and support: patients should be educated on appropriate nutrition using locally available food, and guided on feeding patterns and preparation of the food to suit the condition of the patient (e.g., feeding schedules for those on ART depending on their medication)
Hygiene: the patient and family members should be educated on the practice of appropriate hygiene e.g. oral, skin, hair and environmental care
Exercises: patients need to exercise regularly and if they are too weak the family members should assist the patient in doing passive exercises for body movement and to enhance blood circulation thus reducing the risks of complications such as bed sores and pulmonary problems.
Family planning access
Patients suffering from any chronic or terminal illness usually have a lot of fear and worries. Care givers should therefore provide emotional support and help them to ventilate and deal with the conditions. Drug adherence issues when travels are planned, business trips to be made or transfers planned.
Patients suffering from chronic or terminal illness usually suffer from loneliness and neglect. Care givers should interact with the patient and to include him/her in decisions regarding his/her care. The patient should also be involved in recreational activities as appropriate and support or self help groups in the community should be identified for the patient to interact with.
Addressing spiritual needs is an important aspect in any type of care. Chronically ill patients often lose hope and reason to continue to live which is often relieved through reassurance and spiritual care. Spiritual needs of the patient must be determined and attended to appropriately thus the need to involve faith-based organizations.
Patients should be informed about how and where to get legal aid that they need especially in areas such as inheritance, writing of wills and human rights issues. Join PLHA support groups.
When a person is diagnosed with HIV/AIDS, the financial burden to the family increases given the additional medical expenses. If the bread earner is the affected party, this further constrains the limited family resources available. It is therefore necessary for home based care givers to be aware of economic support networks and opportunities where such issues can be addressed.
Prevention in home based care (HBC): focus on patients clinically ill, patients on ART, household members and community