Seniors are one of the groups of people that are at a greater risk for flu-related complications. Their immune systems are weaker than those of younger people. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that up to 85 percent of deaths due to flu occur in people who are aged 65 and older. We’re already well into flu season, yet even with the serious nature of flu, many seniors haven’t yet prepared for it. But, the CDC says it’s still not too late.
Flu Vaccination is the Best Defense
The CDC says an annual flu shot is the best way to prevent the flu. Although seniors should try to get their vaccination as early in the season as possible. The end of October is the optimal time, especially since it takes the antibodies that protect against flu about two weeks to develop after receiving the vaccination. However, the CDC states that it’s still not too late to get vaccinated, so medical providers should continue to offer the flu vaccination in January.
Other Steps to Prevent the Flu
The flu vaccination is not a 100 percent guarantee that an older adult will not get the flu. However, there are other steps seniors can take to avoid the flu, such as:
- Sticking to a routine that maintains overall health, including eating a healthy diet, exercising, and getting plenty of sleep.
- Washing hands thoroughly and often to prevent the spread of germs. It takes about 20 seconds to get hands really clean. That’s about as long as singing “Happy Birthday” twice.
- Stocking up on hand sanitizer and keeping a bottle in every room.
- Keeping the house clean and disinfected.
Flu Survival Kit
Even when precautions are taken, there is still a chance of flu. It’s a good idea to be prepared for a case of the flu by keeping supplies on hand. Here are some items that should be in your aging relative’s flu survival kit:
- Over the counter medications that have been approved by the senior’s doctor for treating flu symptoms, such as pain relievers, cough syrups, fever reducers, and decongestants.
- Hand soap.
- Hand sanitizer.
- Paper Towels.
- Fluids, like tea, juice, and soup.
One other item that could be essential to an older adult during flu season is an elder care provider. An elder care provider can help a senior from getting the flu by taking the to get vaccinated. They can also make sure the person eats a healthy, balanced diet. Elder care providers can even help create a flu survival kit by taking your aging family member shopping for supplies.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering in-home elder care in Cromwell, CT, please contact the caring staff at Franciscan Ever There Care. Call today 203-630-2881.