Remember when your mom or dad took care of you when you were sick with a cold or the flu? Now that you are responsible for caring for them as they age, it’s important for you to understand how the flu can affect your senior parents.
As we age, our immune system ages as well. Over time, it proves less effective than it once was in fighting off viruses and keeping accompanying symptoms at bay. Because of this, we must focus on prevention measures to help protect the health of seniors during cold and flu season. Make sure to follow these cold and flu season tips to keep your parents happy, healthy, and safe from the flu.
Flu Risks for Seniors
Influenza, more commonly called the flu, has been a health scourge for centuries if not millennia. Every year, upwards of 130,000 people aged 65+ are hospitalized due to the flu, and approximately 15,000 die from the illness. It is a severe risk for the aging population, and you should exercise great care to help ensure its prevention.
Preventative Measures for Seniors
Flu Shots for Seniors
Flu vaccinations are among the most effective forms of flu prevention for people of all ages. Vaccines fight fire with fire by introducing a benign and dead version of the virus into the recipient. Flu shots for seniors allow the body to become familiar with the virus and create a response to fight against it in the future.
Some people have concerns over whether the flu vaccine is safe. According to the CDC, flu shots for seniors are considered very safe, with minimal side effects. It is one of the most effective ways to keep yourself and your loved ones safe during this season.
They say an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and one of the best preventions for the flu is good hygiene. Ensuring that your space and your person remains clean will help you limit your exposure to the virus. Simply keeping your hands away from your face and frequent hand washing will be significant in your yearly flu season fight. Additionally, staying away from those more likely to spread the flu also contributes to good personal hygiene.
Supplements and Medications
Good health is vital when it comes to combatting the flu. Any existing medication regimens must be closely followed during cold and flu season. Additionally, consider taking relevant health supplements to increase good health. Supplements that can be helpful for senior citizens are:
- Calcium for strong bones
- Vitamin D for phosphorous and calcium absorption
- Vitamin B6 for red blood cell production
- Vitamin B12 for improved nerve health
Supplements are what their name reveals, supplementary to a balanced diet. They work best when paired with excellent nutrition and should not be relied on by themselves.
It’s an underrated super cure, but ensuring that you get enough rest is critical to maintaining health and fighting off flu viruses. By allowing your body to rest and recover from its daily wear and tear, you are equipping it to take care of itself in the future. If you are concerned about the flu or are in the process of fighting it off, be sure to get plenty of sleep and avoid anything physically taxing on your body and attitude.
How Copeland Oaks Is Combating Cold and Flu Season
Copeland Oaks is a senior living facility dedicated to providing comprehensive care that helps our residents stay happy and healthy. We give families peace of mind knowing that their loved ones are receiving quality care. We take all measures in our facilitates to help prevent the spread of viruses. We also provide on-site medical resources to help our seniors get immunizations and stay up-to-date with their medical providers. If one of our residents does come down with the cold or flu, our on-site clinic provides them with 24/7 access to medical care. Are you considering Copeland Oaks for your parent’s new home? Schedule a tour today!