Flu in seniors can be a very serious matter. Now that the winter months are here, putting a finer emphasis on addressing senior care in Clearwater is more important than ever. Elderly adults are far more susceptible to getting sick around this time of year and taking the necessary precautions to ward off illness is essential. Even the common cold could lead to significant health concerns and, in some cases, a tragic end.
Influenza is particularly risky in the elderly and when a senior citizen or their caregiver contracts an illness such as this, the infection can be passed on, increasing the risks of negative health outcomes. This is why it’s so critical to take steps towards flu prevention during this time of year. So, in order to keep everyone healthy and happy through flu season, here are five crucial tips for preventing the flu in seniors.
1. Get the Vaccine
The CDC strongly suggests that all individuals get a flu shot ahead of the cold and flu season. The earlier you get the vaccine, the more time the body has to develop an immunity. But this early prevention is especially critical for the elderly because their immunity systems take longer to protect them from the antibodies and contaminants that can lead to influenza.
It’s important to remember that this vaccine must be taken every year as flu strains evolve and change from one year to the next. So, if your senior had the shot last year, they must take it again to stay protected.
2. Wash Your Hands
This is something to remember throughout the year, but it becomes so much more essential during the flu seasons. Remind your senior to wash his or her hands on a routine basis, using plenty of soap and warm or hot water. This is a good rule of thumb throughout the day as well as after coming into contact with anything bacterial.
3. Wipe Down All Common Surfaces
You would never believe all of the places where germs can hide. Think about everything you touch on a daily basis, now think about how many other people touch those surfaces. You can find germs everywhere around you, doorknobs, countertops, the TV remote, and just about every surface in the bathroom.
Wiping these surfaces down regularly can make a big difference between getting sick and staying healthy.
4. Don’t Touch Your Face
Your eye itches or you have something stuck in your teeth. Your instinct is to solve the problem with your fingers. But don’t do it. Any germs that are on the hands can get into your respiratory system and mucous membranes and this can cause influenza. If you absolutely must touch your face, wash your hands first or use a tissue or even the sleeve on your shirt to cover your finger.
5. Be Cautious in Crowded Areas
Seniors certainly don’t want to be relegated to their homes, never to go outdoors. That’s no way to live, however, if a senior does want to go to the mall or a movie theatre with others, bring hand sanitizer and be careful about touching public surfaces.