Winter season equates to flu season. Flu affects everyone, from the young to the to old. Coming down with the flu is can be inconvenient and bothersome.
For seniors, there are risks of possible side effects which can make getting the flu more complicated and threatening. During this season, seniors and anyone living with seniors should make flu prevention as a priority. There are proven ways to help increase your chance to fight off flu and improve one’s health. They can make you healthier, stronger, and more resistant to a cold and flu all year round.
Get a Flu Shot
One of the best ways to prevent a flu is by getting vaccinated. Ideally, everyone should get vaccinated in October before the cold season. It gives protection for most common viruses that come out in winter and it is effective for a year. A senior can choose from the regular flu vaccine or the flu vaccine specifically created for people above 65 years old.
Practice Good Hygiene
Flu prevention does not need to be complicated. It can be as simple as maintaining a clean and hygienic environment. Encourage your senior companions to practice regular hand washing, cover their cough with their sleeves, and to keep the home clean and dust-free. If they are unable to wash their hands, keep a hand sanitizer handy, especially when traveling.
Develop a Good Eating Habit
A healthy routine and diet should not be dismissed. Serve your seniors a balanced diet and foods rich in immune-boosting vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin C, Zinc. Vitamin D, and Vitamin A. So, load up on citrus fruits, broccoli and other leafy greens, beef, milk, yogurt, carrots, and sweet potatoes.
Limit Going Out in Public
For seniors whose health conditions are not that great, limit exposure in public places during the winter season. There is an increased risk of contracting the flu virus in crowded places. Unless absolutely necessary, avoid going to shopping malls and medical facilities.
Although it is tempting to just snuggle in the cold season, encourage your seniors to make moderate exercise as a habit. Regular exercise can help boost your immune system, and can reduce the risk of catching a cold.
Drink Plenty of Liquids
Drinking lots of water helps keep your nasal passages stay moist. These enable them to catch germs before they spread in your body.
Sanitize Mobile Devices
If you and your senior use mobile devices, sanitize them with wipes or alcohol regularly. We sometimes overlook our phones as one of dirtiest and germ-infested devices we own. Be careful not to wet the electronics when cleaning.
Despite your best efforts, people can still get sick. Visit the doctor ASAP to prevent serious flu complications. Look out for flu symptoms, which can include fever, headache, fatigue, body aches, cough, sore throat, and stuffy or runny nose. Call the doctor immediately if the senior is having difficulty breathing with flu and develops serious problems such as nausea, high fever, chills, chest pain, and coughing with yellow-green mucus.
Written by The Village Of Bedford Walk, a senior living community in Columbia, MO.