It’s that time of year again! We’re not talking about the holidays, but the season of colds, flu, and other seasonal illnesses. Contracting the flu is dangerous at any age, but it’s especially dangerous for seniors. As we age, our immune systems aren’t always as strong as they used to be in our younger years. This can make recovering from illnesses more difficult. Here are a few tips for how to prevent colds and flu this winter season.
Wash your hands
We rely on our hands for thousands of tasks. We open door knobs, answer the telephone, and cook our meals, just to name a few. Our hands carry thousands of germs that can get ingested when we eat or touch our lips and face. This winter season, make sure to wash your hands frequently, especially before eating. You might also consider carrying a small bottle of hand sanitizer with you when you run errands, just in case soap and water aren’t accessible.
The winter season is especially busy with all of the holiday parties, shopping, and other events. However, avoiding large crowds can help prevent contracting colds and the winter flu. Many of these traditional sicknesses can be transferred through the air or commonly used surfaces, like hand rails and door knobs.
Watch your diet
Eating foods that are high in antioxidants such as dark green veggies, sweet potatoes, and berries can help boost the immune system, in addition to foods high in Vitamin C, like citruses. Make sure to get enough protein from poultry and fish to maintain high levels of energy and strength.
Get your flu shot
The flu is especially dangerous for older adults. In fact, many people get hospitalized or even die from the flu. Most insurance plans cover the flu vaccine, so don’t wait until you feel sick to get the shot. Call your local pharmacy to receive more information regarding the vaccine.
It can be easy to overdo it during the holidays, but rest is essential to remaining healthy. Make sure to get enough sleep during the night, and save some energy during the day. You might consider asking someone to help you with Christmas shopping, cooking, and holiday cleaning in order to avoid fatigue and illness.
Finally, remember to have some fun! Carespring’s nursing homes and skilled nursing and rehabilitation facilities in Dayton, Cincinnati, and Northern Kentucky want you and your loved ones to have a happy and healthy fall and winter season!