Tips on supporting a loved one with COVID-19

TV recommendations & food deliveries go a long way…

Popping over for a cup of tea and a cuddle is off the cards, but there are plenty of other ways you can support a loved one with COVID-19 (coronavirus). Whether they live near or far, simple acts of kindness are sure to be appreciated.

The basics

First things first, let’s have a quick refresher. As most of us know, coronavirus spreads through respiratory droplets created when an infected person talks, coughs or sneezes. These droplets can reach another person’s nose, mouth or eyes, or fall onto nearby surfaces and objects.

If your loved one gets a positive coronavirus test result, they’ll need to stay at home until their quarantine period is over. To help support them (while keeping your distance and obeying government guidance), we’ve gathered some handy tips.

Stay connected

Texts. Video chats. Phone calls. However you prefer to communicate, staying in touch with your loved one could help to boost their mood and prevent loneliness.

As well as light-hearted chit-chat (cue lots of funny memes), you could encourage them to open up about how they’re really feeling, both physically and mentally.

Help with essentials

Your loved one can’t pop to the shop right now, so lending a hand will mean a lot.

Whether you drop groceries on their doorstep (provided you’re not self-isolating), or arrange a delivery from the supermarket, it’s important to ensure your loved one has access to everything they need.

Remember, it’s not just food and drink that will help. You could offer to help with their prescriptions, or check out our self-isolation checklist for more ideas.

Send a gift

From bouquets (because who doesn’t love flowers?) to bath bombs, sending a little treat to your loved one is a great way to show you’re thinking of them.

If that’s not their thing, you could arrange to send them their favourite takeaway. Edible gifts are always a winner. Plus, it’ll tick ‘cooking’ off their to-do list for the night – win-win!

Walk their dog

Four-legged friend in the picture? If you live nearby, you could offer to take it out for a walk (if government restrictions allow). Even if you’re strapped for time, a short stroll will take a huge weight off your loved one’s shoulders.

Remember, you should wash your hands before and after handling a dog, and keep two metres away from your loved one when handing the dog back over.

Co-ordinate TV time

You can’t be physically together, but you can be together in spirit. Why not arrange to watch the same TV show, and then share your reactions in real time over text or phone call?

Already completed Netflix and Disney+? You could read the same book or magazine and discuss your favourite bits instead.

Reassure them

Being poorly – especially with coronavirus – can have a big impact on a person’s mental health. Let them know it’s OK to feel whatever they’re feeling.

If they’re overwhelmed, you could point them in the direction of some expert advice at Anxiety UK or Mind.

Help ease their symptoms

If your loved one is struggling to manage their coronavirus symptoms, you could do a bit of research on their behalf.

From getting lots of rest and drinking plenty of fluid, to taking pain relief (where suitable), check out our coronavirus advice hub for more information.

Remind them that if they’re worried about their symptoms, or if their symptoms get worse and they’re not sure what to do, they can get medical help and advice from the NHS 111 online coronavirus service.

Information correct at time of publication (12.01am 02/02/2021)