The cold and flu season is upon us. These unpleasant illnesses are especially common in seniors and their caregivers this time of year.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), between 54 and 70 percent of seasonal flu-related hospitalizations in the U.S. each year occur in people 65 years and older.
It’s easy for these germs to get passed back and forth between senior and caregiver and from caregiver to senior so, it’s important to take steps to prevent them from getting to you in the first place and from sticking around for too long.
Keep reading to find 5 ways to protect yourself or a loved one from the cold and the flu.
1. Get the flu shot
WebMD recommends seniors get the annual flu vaccine. There is a high-dose flu vaccine made specifically for seniors. It has four times as much active ingredients as a regular flu shot to provide a better immune response in older people (65+).
2. Exercise regularly
Exercise can boost your immune system making it stronger and more prepared for the cold and flu season. It’s important to stay active for your immune system but also for your age. If you’re wondering how to stay active in the fall and winter months, read the article below for some fun ideas.
3. Eliminate germs
Most cold and flus are spread by direct contact, so it’s important to clean your home and the items people commonly touch like door knobs, phones, remotes, etc. Make sure to wipe them down and sanitize them with disinfectant wipes. Another way to eliminate germs is to avoid contact with other sick people in order to stop their germs from spreading.
4. Drink fluids
Consume enough fluids such as, water, in order to flush out any germs and viruses in your immune system. Plus, it keeps your body hydrated and healthy.
5. See your doctor
This is a very important step when we’re talking about preventing your sickness from getting worse. Seek medical attention immediately if you think you have the flu.
Getting the cold or flu can be an irritating and distressing experience for everyone, but especially for seniors as they are more susceptible to the viruses. These five steps can help avoid these illnesses by implementing them into your life.