Did you know that seniors, and those who help care for them, are two of the highest-risk groups of people when it comes to the flu? For starters, older adults have weaker immune systems than younger, healthier people. Caregiver immunity can be compromised due to lack of sleep and chronic stress. Then add the fact that when you spend a lot of time together, you’re likely to pass germs back and forth.
Easy steps to keep the flu at bay:
- Get a flu shot
- Wash your hands thoroughly (and often)
- Get regular physical activity
- Avoid touching your face
- Avoid crowds
- Drink plenty of liquids
- Incorporate extra Vitamin C into your diet
The CDC has reported that people 65 years and older make up for 50 to 70 percent of seasonal flu-related hospitalizations. Additionally, the flu virus can complicate existing illnesses, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), or other heart or lung diseases. It also makes people with these existing issues more prone to develop conditions such as pneumonia or bronchitis. Those types of issues will require further medical intervention, and possible hospital stays, while they could have been avoided altogether with a simple annual vaccine.
Too late to avoid the flu? It is definitely to be taken seriously in elderly citizens. It can even turn deadly if not treated. Call your physician at the first sign of the flu in your loved one. Every day makes a difference. Be sure to push fluids, including chicken soup. It’s not just an old wives tale! Anecdotal scientific evidence suggests, that in addition to being an excellent way to incorporate much-needed liquids, it also helps open up sinus cavities and soothes a scratchy throat.
Feel free to contact us if you have questions about how to help keep the flu out of your home, or need assistance caring for a loved one, both during flu season and year-round.