The cold and flu season puts seniors at risk of developing serious complications such as pneumonia. It’s important for older adults to take steps to lower their risk of becoming sick during this time of year. Here are some cold and flu prevention tips your senior loved one should follow to stay healthy.
1. Wash the Hands Often
Seniors can pick up cold and flu viruses by touching contaminated surfaces. Washing the hands frequently during cold and flu season can reduce exposure to these germs. Your loved one should wash his or her hands with warm water and soap before eating and after being around other people. If your loved one is unable to get to a bathroom to wash his or her hands, he or she can use a hand sanitizer instead.
Avoiding germs is one way to stay healthy. Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional home care. Boca Raton, FL, Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life.
2. Get a Flu Vaccine
Since older adults are more at risk of being hospitalized with serious complications from the flu, your loved one should get a flu shot. These vaccines help the immune system prepare to fight flu viruses throughout the cold and flu season. Keep in mind these shots take a couple of weeks to take effect, so your loved one should get one as soon as possible. Older adults can still get the flu after getting the flu shot, but they may have a lower risk of ending up with complications.
3. Strengthen the Immune System
A strong immune system provides good protection against cold and flu germs. Encourage your loved one to get plenty of sleep, exercise regularly, drink plenty of water, and eat a nutritious diet. Chronic stress can also affect immunity, so help your loved one find ways to lower stress, such as through deep breathing or meditation. These healthy lifestyle habits boost the immune system, which can lower the risk of getting sick or having a serious case of the flu.
Even with a functioning immune system, seniors may get sick and require care. Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Boca Raton, Florida, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Home Care Assistance. Using our proprietary Balanced Care Method, our respite caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity.
4. Avoid or Limit Contact with Sick Individuals
Seniors typically have a more challenging time staying healthy and avoiding illness than younger individuals. Your loved one can lower the risk of becoming ill by staying away from people who are sick, which includes limiting the time spent with family members or friends who have the flu or a cold or avoiding seeing them altogether until they’re no longer contagious.
5. Wear a Mask in Public
When cold and flu season is in full swing, your loved one might want to consider wearing a mask when out in public. Crowded areas such as malls can contain high amounts of cold and flu germs. Being in doctor’s offices, hospitals, and other healthcare facilities also increases the risk of being exposed to these germs. Wearing a mask reduces the chance of breathing in cold and flu germs when others cough or sneeze.
Preventing illnesses such as the flu or the common cold is important because they can lead to more significant health issues. Living with a serious health condition can make it challenging for seniors to age in place. However, they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional live-in care. Boca Raton seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more. Call (561) 826.9282 today to find out how your loved one can benefit from Home Care Assistance’s in-home care services.