With the flu season in full swing, we want to ensure our residents are staying healthy and happy. Being infected with the influenza virus can be a particularly risky experience for Elders, who tend to be more susceptible to the flu and its complications as they age. We recommend taking a few precautions over the next few months to avoid this virus.
Keep Your Hands Clean
Practicing healthy habits can go a long way when trying to prevent the flu. Be sure to wash your hands as frequently as possible—particularly when handling food, after using the restroom, and after interacting with others. If hand-washing this often is too cumbersome or inconvenient, using an antibacterial hand sanitizer can also be effective.
Practice Good Coughing/Sneezing Etiquette
Cover your mouth with a tissue when coughing and sneezing to prevent the spread of germs when you’re in close quarters with your fellow residents. Try not to cough directly into your hands. If you cannot find a tissue in time, cough or sneeze into the upper sleeve of your shirt. Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer afterwards.
Get the Flu Shot
Our most important piece of advice is to get the flu vaccine each year. For Elders 65 and older, a special vaccine is administered that contains four times as much of the active ingredient as the regular flu shot. This is because as we age, our immune systems begin to decline. Since flu viruses change each year, it’s important that you receive the vaccine each year. Flu vaccines are typically administered from fall to spring, and Elders often receive the pneumonia vaccine, since this is a common complication of the flu.
Don’t Ignore Early Warning Signs
If you begin to notice flu symptoms, visit your doctor immediately. Your doctor will be able to evaluate your condition and prescribe the proper medication to allow you to feel better.
If you have any questions pertaining to flu prevention or flu complications, the West Ridge Care Center staff would be happy to help.
This blog contains discussion about health-related subjects, and is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnose or treat any disease or illness. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, please contact your doctor immediately or call 9-1-1.