Surviving Sickness Solo: How To Deal With Being Ill When You Live Alone


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Most of us are independent enough to live alone and get by. But what happens when illness strikes? Living with someone, you can always rely on them to be your carer for the day, but living alone, you have to be your own carer. If you’ve recently fallen ill and have to deal with it yourself, here are some ways to cope through the period.

Prepare an emergency illness bag

For when illness strikes, you should have a bag of emergency medical supplies by your bed. This could include painkillers, allergen medicine, prescription drugs, anti-diarrhoea pills and any other emergency medicine that you can think of. Having this within arm’s reach of your bed, either underneath or in a bedside cabinet, can stop you having to trek downstairs and give you the rest you need.

Cut down on chores

This will depend on how long the sickness spell lasts, but realistically you shouldn’t be trying to hoover the house and clean the toilet and run cleaning errands when you’re ill. You need to get rest, and that means not being so active. You can catch up with all this when you are well. Any visitors will understand if your house is a mess.  

Order online

You’ll have to eat when you’re ill. If you can’t face cooking, order a takeaway to your house. Similarly, for any resources you may need, prevent having to go down to the shops by ordering online. Forcing yourself constantly out of bed to do errands will not help your recovery.

Open a window

That said, you’ll need to still get some fresh air. Staying cooped up indoors with no windows open could make it hot and stuffy, a perfect breeding ground for bacteria that could make your illness worse. If going outside is too much of struggle, have a window open that you can regularly walk to get fresh air.

Call for help

Realistically, you’re never going to be able to cope entirely on your own, especially for illnesses lasting more than a couple of days. There are many emergency healthcare services that can help you cope if you don’t have any family or friends available (read this new info about Our Urgent Care to give you an idea of such services). It’s worth keeping a number of one of these whilst ill, in case you have a nasty fall or things take a bad turn.

Know when you can no longer cope and don’t try to suffer through it. For lengthy periods of illness, you may have to hire housekeepers or have people to run errands for you such as shopping, posting letters and cleaning the place up.

Let work know immediately and keep them informed of the progress of your illness. You may be able to work from home, but don’t push yourself if staring at a screen is making your migraine worse or your telephone manner is compromised by how ill you sound. For the self-employed it can be handy to have a deputy staff member that can take over or have insurance system in place to protect against when you are ill and business can no longer run.

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