The flu is a severe problem for older adults because it can often lead to hospitalization or even death when left untreated. It can cause many problems for older people, including respiratory problems and pneumonia.
However, if you can follow these ten easy steps, you can help your loved ones prevent the flu all season long:
1.) Keep up on their vaccinations
Vaccinations are one of the best ways to protect people against getting the flu, and the recommended vaccines change every year. But it is still vital for everyone over 65 years old to get their annual vaccination. This way, you can already be on the safe side, thereby reducing the chances of getting the flu.
2.) Wash your hands
There are two times when it is essential to wash your hands: after you use the bathroom and before you eat or prepare food. This will help prevent the flu by eliminating germs that can cause colds, stomach problems, etc. Also, make sure to keep hand sanitizer with you at all times. By taking such precautions, you can help protect your elderly loved one from those illnesses that can take a toll on their immune system.
3.) Stay home if you’re sick
This may seem like a no-brainer, but if your elderly loved one is sick, they should stay home until the fever has been gone for at least 24 hours. This is to prevent germs from being brought into public places and spread them further. However, if the situation calls for medical attention, you shouldn’t hesitate to bring your parent to the nearest urgent care clinic to get the treatment they deserve.
4.) Avoid communal areas
If you or your loved one is sick, then the best thing you can do is avoid crowded places where there are many people around that may get infected by flu germs. This means steering clear from planes, doctors’ offices, and hospitals until they have been declared free from infection. By doing so, you are helping your loved one avoid the flu at all costs.
5.) Do not drink alcohol
Alcohol may help your loved one feel better, but it actually weakens their immune system. Older adults are more susceptible to infections, so the best thing to do is avoid any drinking until they have been flu-free for at least two weeks. This includes beer, liquor, wine, or any alcoholic beverages.
6.) Exercise regularly
Exercise is a wonderful way to increase energy levels, which will make your loved one feel much better. It also reduces stress and anxiety, which are two factors that make you more likely to get sick during flu season. So, encourage your parents to do something physical every day — it will improve their health and reduce the chances of them catching a cold.
7.) Keep their stress levels low
Any negative emotion can significantly affect the immune system, especially in extreme cases like depression or anxiety. This is why it is crucial to keep your loved ones calm and make sure they are not constantly worrying about things like work, family, or other responsibilities. Plus, stress can affect their sleep habits, which is critical for staying healthy.
8.) Eat healthily
The best way to eat healthy during flu season is to avoid sugary foods, dairy products, and anything with yeast, like bread. Instead of these ingredients, eat plenty of fresh vegetables, lean protein, and complex carbohydrates. That way, your parent will be able to fight off the flu faster and better.
9.) Keep their living space clean
It may be a hassle to do chores around the house constantly, but this will help prevent germs from forming in your loved one’s living area. After all, it is much easier to sanitize an entire room than it is to sanitize a whole body. So, make sure to clean the dishes before bed and vacuum the carpets each week. It could also help if you dust the furniture and bathroom every two weeks.
10.) Take care of yourself as well
It is essential to keep your health in mind as with any issue. Older adults often have a hard time telling when they need rest or help from others, so make sure you are taking good care of yourself too — whether that means eating right, exercising, getting enough sleep, or taking time for yourself.
By practicing self-care, you ensure that you have the necessary energy to handle everything that life throws at you. And this will help keep your elderly loved one healthy as well.
By following these tips, your elderly loved one can get through the flu season without any issue and hopefully avoid the flu altogether! So, don’t forget to keep these tips in mind so you can all stay healthy during the flu season.