Caring For Someone With AIDS
Providing Emotional Support
You are caring for a person, not just a body; their feelings are
important too. Since every person is different, there are no rules
about what to do or say, but here are some ideas that may help.
- Keep them involved in their care. Don't do everything for
them or make all their decisions. Nobody likes feeling
- Have them help out around the house if they can.
Everybody likes to feel useful. They want to be part of the
group, contributing what they can.
- Include them in the household. Make them part of
about books, TV shows, music, what is going on around the
and so on. Many people will want to feel involved in the
things that are happening around them. But you don't
always have to talk, just being there i sometimes enough. Just
watching TV together or sitting or reading in the same room
is often comforting.
- Talk about things. Sometimes they may need to talk
about AIDS or talk through their own situation as a way to
think out loud. Having AIDS can make a person angry,
frustrated, depressed, scared, and lonely, just like any
other serious illness. Listening, trying to understand, showing
you care, and helping them work
through their emotions is a big part of home care. A
support group of other people with AIDS can also be a good
place for them to talk things out. Contact the National
Association of People with AIDS for information about support
groups in your area. If they
want professional counseling, help them get it.
- Invite their friends over to visit. A little socializing can be good for
- Touch them. Hug them, kiss them, pat them, hold hands
to show that you care. Some people may not want physical
closeness, but if they do, touch is a powerful way of saying,
- Get out together. If they are able, go to social events,
shopping, riding around, walking around the block or just
into the park, yard, or porch to sit in the sun and breathe
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