Protecting the Elderly from Cold and Flu Season

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How to Protect Your Loved One From Cold and Flu Season

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Winter can be a difficult time of year for seniors to stay healthy given that the elderly have slower immune systems that lack the ability to fight off various strains of cold and flu. Help your senior loved one fight off these illnesses this winter with the following tips from Dayton Home Care Assistance.

Don’t Ignore Regular Check-ups

Routine medical check-ups are actually a key component of senior health nowadays. While your senior loved one may not be used to going in for a check-up, these types of visits allow your loved one’s doctor to monitor his or her overall health and prevent problems before they start. A check-up can give your senior loved one’s doctor a chance to work on implementing the best health plan possible, rather than only seeing your loved one when he or she needs urgent care.

Update Flu Shots

During a routine check-up, ask a doctor about flu and pneumonia shots. These shots can stop many of the common strains of illnesses from infecting your senior loved one this winter. The shots are easy to get and have very few side effects, which is great for seniors who already experience health problems that could be exacerbated by negative side effects. An added bonus is that if your senior loved one does get sick, the infection will likely be far less severe and shorter lived than if he or she hadn’t received a vaccine.

Avoid Stress

High stress levels, especially over a long period of time, can make seniors more susceptible to a cold or flu. Stress is a serious enemy to the body’s immune system because it depletes the amount of energy the body’s immune system could otherwise devote to warding off infections. Encourage your senior loved one to develop a stress management plan that addresses the common stressors for seniors, such as age-related or money problems. Likewise, let your loved one know he or she can always talk to you about any problems or concerns so he or she can vent.

Use Hand Sanitizer

While washing our hands is one of the best lines of defense against illness, sometimes washing our hands isn’t convenient or even possible. Likewise, many people don’t like taking the time to do it if they are busy with something else. Encourage your senior loved one to carry hand sanitizer to use in situations when washing the hands is inconvenient. Following this step can help your senior loved one kill germs and bacteria before touching food or managing personal hygiene needs thereby reducing the risk of getting sick.

It may not be possible to be everywhere at once to protect your senior loved one from colds, flus, or other ailments, but there is help readily available. Home Care Assistance is a leading provider of live-in and hourly home care in Dayton that helps seniors maintain health and wellbeing. Whether your loved one needs personal care, emotional support, or transportation to appointments, our highly trained caregivers can help. Call us today at 937-353-7997 to speak with a helpful Care Manager and schedule a complimentary consultation.