Seniors benefit greatly from being proactive when cold and flu season rolls around. Older adults are more susceptible to respiratory illnesses and sometimes their existing health issues can make these minor illnesses much worse for them to experience. Family caregivers and home care providers can do a lot to help seniors prepare for cold and flu season.
Talk to Healthcare Providers about Vaccines
The flu vaccine is a must for aging adults if they’re able to get vaccinated. There is no vaccine for the common cold, but that doesn’t mean that seniors can’t be prepared for other illnesses, especially pneumonia and other respiratory illnesses. It’s a good idea to talk to healthcare providers about what they recommend, based on seniors’ existing health conditions and needs. If seniors can’t vaccinate for one reason or another, medical providers may have other advice to help.
Improve Hygiene Habits
Good hygiene is an unbelievably powerful way to prevent the spread of viruses that can lead to colds and the flu. Handwashing in particular is easy to do properly and can greatly improve overall health and well-being for aging adults. Washing with soap and water for at least 20 to 30 seconds is enough to remove germs before they can make someone sick.
Focus on Healthy Habits
A big part of avoiding getting sick involves having a healthy and robust immune system. For seniors, that can mean eating a healthier diet, hydrating properly, and getting regular exercise. These simple habits make up a plan that helps aging adults to keep their immune systems strong enough to be able to fight off germs before they can take hold.
Clean Household Surfaces
Some viruses can linger on surfaces for a lot longer than most people expect. Someone can drop off germs, even if they aren’t sick yet themselves, and those germs can then make seniors sick. Elder care providers can help to stay on top of cleaning and disinfecting surfaces, removing germs that might contribute to colds and other illnesses.
Prepare for Bad Weather
Winter weather can bring a lot of challenges with it, especially if seniors aren’t feeling well. It’s a good idea to stock seniors up with bottled water, non-perishable foodstuffs, cold and flu medications, and extra warm clothing. They may not need these items, but they need to have them just in case.
Get Help from Home Care Services
Home care assistance is invaluable for seniors in the colder months when they’re more susceptible to colds and the flu. Caregivers can assist with daily tasks, offer companionship, and watch for signs of illness. They can also help to make sure that seniors have a clean environment and that they’re reminded to stick with their healthy habits and routines.
Prepping seniors for cold and flu season means addressing all sorts of variables including health, hygiene, and even environmental factors. Home care providers can help with all of these concerns, ensuring that aging adults are able to relax and have the help they need to either avoid illnesses or heal quickly if they do happen to get sick.