As the autumn season continues and temperatures begin to drop, staying healthy becomes harder, but not impossible. As we age our immune systems get weaker and common illnesses like the flu become more dangerous. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Between 71 and 85 percent of seasonal flu-related deaths have occurred in people 65 years and older.” However, there are simple everyday steps to prevent and protect you or your senior from the flu and other related illnesses.
Get a Flu Shot
It seems simple, but the best thing to do is to make a trip to your local pharmacy and ask for the flu shot. Covered by most insurance plans, a flu shot greatly reduces your chance of getting the flu during the fall and winter. Most pharmacies offer different doses of vaccinations, so be sure to check with your doctor to find what will be best for you.
Practice Safe Hygiene
We can’t always protect ourselves from the world around us. But, staying away from large crowds of people and washing your hands often will help protect you from unwanted germs. Consider carrying a bottle of hand sanitizer with you during the day or when you go to public places. Germs shouldn’t stop you from taking public transportation or going out to restaurants, but being mindful of your own personal hygiene will keep you healthy all season long.
Pay attention to your body. When the flu strikes, it often causes fatigue, fever, cough, sour throat, headaches, and pain in the body. If the flu goes undiagnosed for a long period of time, the symptoms can become more severe and the illness gets more difficult to treat.
It’s also important to protect other people. When you cough or sneeze, be sure to minimize the spread of influenza by covering your mouth with your elbow, not your hands. It’s good practice to wash your hands and stay away from others when you’re feeling ill.
Keep Your Home Clean
If people are coming in and out of your home, especially if you or your senior has an in-home caregiver, it’s important to wipe down surfaces with antibacterial cleaner everyday. Germs are sneaky! Because we can’t see them, it can be easy to forget about them. Cleaning surfaces like phones, doorknobs, and kitchen counters will help kill the germs that get us sick.
There is much to be enjoyed this fall season. Don’t let the flu ruin the fun! Our Carespring nursing home and skilled rehabilitation facilities in Cincinnati, Dayton, and Northern Kentucky are wishing you and your family a healthy fall.