As flu season is approaching, it is important to familiarize yourself with proper flu prevention techniques especially when it comes to people over the age of 65. The flu can be a very serious complication for senior citizens so it only becomes more important to protect yourself as you get older. There are a variety of things you can do to keep yourself and your loved ones safe during this time of year. Here are a few things for seniors to remember during flu season.
Seniors are at a Higher Risk
Like most health complications, senior citizens are at a higher risk for catching and struggling with complications from the flu. According to EnsignGroup, “Seniors ages 65 and older have a higher risk of severe flu complications, accounting for up to 70 percent of hospitalizations from the virus and up to 85 percent of the deaths each year.” The reason why older adults are more susceptible to complications from the flu is because of their compromised immune systems.
Keep Your Vaccinations Up to Date
Although sometimes controversial, receiving the influenza vaccination is one of the most effective methods of protecting yourself from the flu. CDC notes that, “Vaccination is especially important for people 65 years and older because they are at high risk for complications from flu.” The antibodies found in the flu vaccine provide your immune system with protection against infection of the viruses found in the vaccine.
Practice Contagion Strategies
One of the most important aspects of containing an influenza breakout, especially in a senior living community, is to isolate individuals infected with the flu from the rest of the community. The flu is highly contagious and can easily be spread through a variety of different pathways. Aging.com notes that, “The flu has the potential of causing an epidemic, which is an outbreak of a virus in one section or community of the world. The virus is spread through small droplets of fluid created from coughs, sneezes, and saliva exiting your mouth while talking. Typically, you are contagious for five to seven days after showing symptoms.”
Simple Things Go a Long Way
Some of the most effective ways to prevent influenza breakouts and limit the severity and longevity of the symptoms are very simple. For example, remembering to wash your hands, cover your mouth and getting plenty of rest are all great ways to avoid infection of the flu. Our Vice President of Home Care Services, Andre Gomez, discussed that, “When it comes to staying healthy during flu season, simple hygiene precautions can really go a long way. It is important to remember to wash your hands thoroughly and often as well as covering your mouth to avoid the germs from spreading and making sure you get plenty of rest to keep your immune system strong.” It is paramount to remember to stay safe, clean, and well-rested during flu season.
At Poet’s Walk, a Spring Hills Memory Care Community, we take necessary precautions to ensure the health and safety of our seniors is always maintained. To learn more about our holistic approach to senior care, click here.