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Colds and influenza affect the average American up to over three weeks each year. Although no one wants the inconvenience or the discomfort of being sick, a typical cold or bout of the flu is not life threatening for healthy individuals. However, as a senior, you may have a weakened immune system due to the natural aging process or a chronic condition. You will want to do all you can to prevent getting one of these nasty bugs this season!
To help ensure that our clients and readers stay safe and healthy this season, the Boca Raton Home Care Assistance staff wanted to share a few tips for preventing the flu. Most importantly, be sure to get the flu vaccine when your doctor recommends it. If you are not seeing a doctor regularly, you can go to one of your local clinics, drugstores or pharmacies to get the vaccine for a low price. Depending on your individual Medicare plan, the cost of the flu may be covered, leaving you with no out of pocket costs. It’s important to remember that the vaccine only lasts for one season so even if you got the flu shot last year, you will need a new shot for the 2014 season.
This year, there are two vaccines available: a regular dose vaccine and a higher dose vaccine for seniors. While both offer the same type of protection against the same strains of the flu, doctors and medical experts recommend the higher dose vaccine for seniors and older adults for additional protection. The higher dose has been proven safe and effective, with minimal side effects reported including slight pain at the injection sight and minimal discomfort. Need a ride to your doctor’s office or the local pharmacy? Learn more about part-time hourly care in Boca Raton and view our list of services ranging from transportation and medication reminders to in-home assistance with daily chores and personal care.
Along with getting the flu vaccine, you must do even more on a daily basis to stop these germs from entering your body. You will want to avoid those who are sick and will need to wash your hands after being around groups of people or at a public place such as the grocery store or shopping mall, scrubbing gently for 30 seconds with soap and water. Also, try to keep your hands away from your face unless you have recently washed them, especially your eyes, the easiest place for germs to enter the body.
A lesser-known way of staving off germs is by staying hydrated. If you are dehydrated, the mucous membranes in your eyes, nose and mouth will become dried out and will not be able to resist bacteria and viruses well. For seniors who find it difficult to stay hydrated, keep water bottles in convenient places around the house such as in the kitchen, next to your favorite recliner in front of the television and on the nightstand by your bed. Having water around the house is a great reminder and also provides you with easy access as you go through your regular daily routine.
Stay safe and healthy this flu season with these tips from the senior care experts at Home Care Assistance of Boca Raton. If you have more questions or would like to learn about our in-home care services, call 561-826-9282 and speak with a friendly Care Manager today.