Senior Care in Rowayton, CT - Use these Helpful Tips to Better Prevent Illness for Your Elderly Loved One
The winter season is the best time to catch the flu. Whether you’re a senior citizen or not, germs spread during cold months and anyone could catch the virus. Even though we are all at risk of catching the flu, study after study has shown that people aged 65 and older are at greater risk of having serious complications as a result of the sickness. As people age, the immune system defenses grow weaker. Therefore, if a senior catches influenza, their bodies are less likely to recover fully in comparison to someone younger.
In order to help keep your elder safe during flu season, it’s up to you and your elderly care professional to keep them healthy. There are a number of proven steps that can dramatically decrease the odds of your loved one catching the flu this winter. Here are a few of those tips:
- Flu Shot: The best way to prevent catching the flu for anyone is by taking a flu shot. Ideally, everyone should get the flu shot in October in anticipation for cold months. A flu vaccine protects against the most common viruses in the winter and its immunity is good for about a year. Seniors can even choose from a regular flu vaccine or a new flu vaccine designed for people 65 or older (for higher antibody production). A high-dose vaccine is 24% more productive in keeping seniors healthy, so it’s something to consider. Since everyone should get a flu shot for winter, make it your responsibility to bring your elder in for their flu shot whenever you’re getting yours. This will keep you accountable for both your own health and your loved one’s health.
- Produce a sanitary living environment: Habits such as washing hands, covering coughs with a sleeve (not hands), and keeping the house clean and dust-free are good practices to minimize your senior’s germ exposure. As you and your professional caretaker use these habits to prevent spreading sickness, be sure that your elder practices them as well.
- Antiviral drugs: If your senior does catch the flu or shows signs of early sickness, visit your doctor and see if they can prescribe antiviral drugs. Antiviral drugs are different from antibiotics, as they are not available for over-the-counter purchase. Once prescribed, these drugs can make the illness milder and shorter. For the strongest effect, have your elder start antiviral treatment within 2 days of getting sick.
If you or an aging loved one are considering senior care in Rowayton, CT or the surrounding areas, please contact SYNERGY HomeCare of Stamford, CT at 203-661-6969.