Influenza, more commonly known as the flu, is a highly contagious respiratory disease that is prevalent during the fall and winter seasons. While cases can range from mild to severe, seniors are at a higher risk of contracting the flu and developing serious, life-threatening complications. Here’s our guide to staying healthy this flu season.
The best preventative measures you can take are practicing healthy habits on a daily basis. Additionally, getting an annual flu shot is the next best thing you can do to greatly reduce your risk of getting the flu. Children, seniors, and those with certain health conditions or who work with these groups of people, are more likely to contract the flu and are highly encouraged to get a flu shot. These groups are also more susceptible to flu-related complications such as pneumonia, bronchitis, and sinus infections.
Eating nutritious meals, getting regular exercise, having a consistent sleep schedule, and managing your stress will go a long way to keeping you healthy. Make sure you’re incorporating these into your daily routine and talk to your doctor if you’re having difficulty with any of them.
Prevent the spread of germs by regularly disinfecting high traffic areas and surfaces, and remember to wash your hands frequently! Consider stocking up on some supplies that you’ll want when you’re sick such as kleenex, soup, and tea. It’s better to have these on hand than to have to leave the house when you’re sick.
If You Get the Flu
If you do get the flu, make sure you rest, drink lots of fluids, and stay home in order to prevent spreading germs. Consult with your doctor if you’re experiencing flu symptoms or if you’re at a higher risk for developing complications, and use antiviral drugs if they are recommended by your doctor. These can help lessen the symptoms of the flu and the duration of the sickness by 1-2 days. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that people with high risk of complications consult their doctor about antiviral medications as early as possible because the medication yields the greatest benefit when used approximately 2 days after the illness has begun.
Taking Care of Someone with the Flu
If you‘re taking care of someone who has the flu, avoid long periods of face-to-face contact with them. Hold children who are sick with their chin on your shoulder so they will not cough in your face and spread germs. Make sure to wash your hands after every encounter and after handling their tissues or laundry. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based gel to disinfect your hands.
Flu season can be a difficult time, but moving to an assisted living facility can make this season easier for you and your loved ones. At The Canopy, our care facilities are designed to provide as many great experiences as possible. Give our staff a call today at (386) 515-7215 or visit us online and check out the wide range of activities our locations have to offer.