With every day that passes, our knowledge about the coronavirus pandemic and the potential long-term effects of COVID-19 is growing.
Terms such as ‘Long COVID’ or ‘Post COVID-Syndrome’ are becoming more common in our everyday language and it has become clear that there is a steady need for post-COVID support for people living in Bordon, Alton and nearby villages. In our guide to Long COVID, we aim to answer some of the common questions we are hearing from our clients and their family members.
How long does it take to recover from coronavirus?
It varies from person to person but after having coronavirus, research shows that most people will feel better after a few weeks and make a full recovery within 12 weeks.
How long is COVID contagious for?
From the time of contracting COVID-19 to developing symptoms, it is known that it can take up to 14 days for people to show signs of the virus.
Once COVID symptoms begin, most people will be contagious for around 10 days.
As per Government guidelines, it is important to self-isolate during this 10 day period so as to avoid passing the virus onto others.
If you test positive for coronavirus, your self-isolation period includes the day your symptoms started (or the day you took the test if you do not have symptoms) and the next 10 full days.
If you are self-isolating or shielding and live in Alton, Bordon, Haslemere or any of the surrounding villages, contact our friendly team of CareGivers for support.
What is Long COVID?
‘Long COVID’ or ‘Post-COVID Syndrome’ is when some people continue to experience the effects of COVID-19 long after they initially fell ill.
What are the symptoms of Long COVID?
There are many Long COVID symptoms, and this list continues to grow as we learn more about the aftereffects of COVID. People who had mild symptoms when they were first infected with COVID-19 may still face long-term problems. Symptoms can include:
- A high temperature
- Changes to sense of smell/taste
- Difficulty sleeping
- Extreme tiredness
- Heart palpitations
- Joint pain
- Loss of appetite
- Problems with memory
- Stomach aches
Those who are experiencing Long COVID symptoms can feel very frustrated, particularly as the lasting effects are not yet fully understood. In fact, frustration, fear and anxiety are common mental health effects of Long COVID and for people facing these types of post-COVID symptoms, companionship and support are very important.
Facing the physical or mental health effects of Long COVID does not mean that you are contagious to other people. In fact, those suffering the long-term effects of COVID-19 are more likely to need support from others, particularly where they are experiencing symptoms of lethargy and issues with their memory.
If you, or a loved one, is suffering from post-COVID symptoms, please do ask for help so that you get the right support. If you live in Bordon or Alton and would like more information about how Right at Home can help, please contact us for advice and support.
Does having Long COVID make you immune to coronavirus?
Although reinfection is uncommon, if you have Long COVID, it is possible to contract coronavirus again. This is because the presence of antibodies required to fight COVID-19 are not always enough to guarantee ongoing immunity. However,
even if you have made a full recovery from COVID-19, the World Health Organisation recommends that everyone should:
- wear a mask when they are in contact with other people outside of their home (i.e. in supermarkets),
- regularly wash their hands
- continue to practise social distancing.
What support is available for Long COVID?
Living with Long COVID, or continuing symptoms of COVID-19, may feel frightening and isolating. Some people will find they cannot do all the things they used to do and that they need some help with day-to-day activities.
If you feel this is you, then Right at Home’s trusted team of CareGivers can help. Our CareGivers can provide home care and assistance for people who are struggling with the long-term effects of COVID. Areas we can help you in with your Long COVID recovery include providing personal care services such as assistance with washing, dressing or grooming, or we can help prepare meals.
Help is also available online including worldwide peer support groups such as ‘Long COVID Support’. These groups offer a safe space to share experiences with others in the same situation.
How can I support someone with Long COVID?
The level of support that somebody with Long COVID will need will depend on their symptoms and severity.
If you know of somebody with Long COVID who has aches and pains, they may need some help with moving around the house or for somebody to accompany them to and from appointments.
If an individual has fatigue, simple daily tasks may feel unmanageable. Whatever the symptoms, maintaining a clean environment is important for both health and wellbeing.
Coming to terms with the effects of Long COVID may put a strain on relationships. This is why communication is key to understanding what support your loved one needs and how they are feeling.
If you are supporting someone through Long COVID, it is important that you remember to take care of yourself too. Taking time out to rest and recharge your batteries is vital for ensuring your new role doesn’t take its toll on your own mental health and wellbeing. For your peace of mine, our respite CareGivers can take care of your loved one whilst you take a well-deserved break.
My loved one was hospitalised with COVID-19, what can they expect when they come home from hospital?
If you or a loved has been hospitalised with COVID-19, when you are discharged, it may take some time to adjust to life at home. Some people may even find themselves faced with mental, emotional and physical symptoms of ‘Post-Intensive Care Syndrome’ (PICS).
The NHS has produced an informative guide for family members whose loved ones were hospitalised as a result of contracting COVID-19. The guide includes information about topics such as self-care and can help you to understand your relative’s hospital stay and how it felt.
There are also tips and advice on how you can support the recovery of a loved one’s physical and emotional health.
Over time, we will learn more about the long-term effects of COVID-19 on mental health, physical symptoms, and potential effects on the immune system. In the meantime, for NHS advice on recovery and the long-term effects of COVID, visit the website Your COVID Recovery.
For more information on how we can support you or a loved one at home, please speak to a member of our friendly Alton and Bordon office team on 01420 481716.