Stay well when caring for others

It’s important to minimise the spread of infection when caring for those who are sick.

When family and friends are sick we want to care for them, but it is important to keep ourselves and others safe as well.

How to reduce the risk of infection

There are simple precautions you can take to reduce the risk of infecting yourself and others:

  • as much as possible, care for the sick person in a separate room away from other members of your household
  • make sure the room has good ventilation by opening a window
  • encourage the sick person to cough or sneeze away from you and dispose of used tissues in a bin
  • clean items that have been used by the sick person (for example, towels, cutlery, toys)
  • wash and dry your hands after having contact with the sick person or any items they have used
  • clean surfaces frequently, particularly in the room in which the sick person is being cared for.

When caring for a sick person, follow the recommended treatment for the illness. Factsheets on common viruses and infections and advice on treatment are available in the section Diseases and illnesses.

If you are concerned about their health contact your doctor or Healthline freephone 0800 611 116.

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