A recent survey of American adults found that 76% worried about becoming ill if they had to stay home and take care of the sick during a severe flu pandemic.1
  Learn infection control measures. 


Setting up a Sick Room

Wash hands for 15 seconds with soap and water

infection prevention

Cover a cough or sneeze with tissue

prevent infection
Illustrations for Care of the Sick at Home


Robert Schoolcraft

Sick Room Supplies

Caregiver in the sick room

Caregiver is the only person to enter the sick room.

Counting Breathing

Count and describe the sick person’s breathing while you are taking the person’s temperature and looking at skin color. The normal adult breathing rate is about 14-20 breaths per minute. One breath cycle is the person breathing in and out. (You can place your hand on the person’s chest or abdomen so that you can feel the breath going in and out). The normal breathing rhythm is regular. Breathing is quiet and easy. (p.29 of the eBook)

Looking at Skin Color

Skin color Describe the color of the sick person’s skin, especially around the mouth, on the hands and feet. The person’s original skin tone will affect the overall color observed. You may see pink, pale, gray, blue, or very dark tones. For a person with naturally very dark skin color, look at the inside of the mouth, the bottom of the hands, and feet and at the fingernails (unless the person is wearing nail polish) for color.8 Again, you will usually see more pink tones. A darker, bluer color may mean that the sick person is having trouble breathing, and the body is unable to circulate oxygen throughout the body. see p. 29

Looking at Skin Color 2

See p. 29 "examining skin color"

Bathing the Sick Child

Make sure the room is warm and that the sick person is covered with warm blankets that can be easily moved around. The bath should be refreshing for the sick person. You do not want them to become chilled or tired.

Mouth Care

See p. 33 mouth care for the sick person

Writing in the Monitoring Log

See p. 27-32 Monitoring the Sick Person

Doing the Laundry

See p. 34 Use gloves to handle dirty laundry that is soiled with body fluids. Wash with a regular detergent on a warm setting, regular cycle. Use a regular dryer or hang clothes outside. Wash your hands after taking off the gloves.

Community of Care Member Delivering Food

Copyright © 2008-2014, PandemicHomeCare Albuquerque, NM
All Rights Reserved