How to Keep Senior Loved Ones Safe & Healthy During Flu Season
By taking the proper precautions to stay healthy and protected throughout peak sickness season, seniors can stay healthy and safe for themselves and their loved ones. Taking reasonable precautions to visit healthy and protected throughout peak sickness season is essential for everyone — but it's especially crucial for seniors.
Whether you are taking care of an aging parent or just a senior yourself, these tips will help you stay safe as the winter months quickly approach.
Maintaining Senior Health to Prevent the Flu
Fortunately, seniors and caregivers can take precautions to stay healthy even when viruses are at peak circulation. Here are a few key tips for seniors to stay healthy, safe, and protected this cold and flu season.
Seniors, their immediate loved ones, and caregivers should vaccinate against the flu. It is recommended that a senior gets their annual flu shot immediately. Though getting the flu is still possible, even if you are vaccinated, the vaccine will still help prevent a severe infection — which is essential for seniors with compromised immune systems.
Wash your hands
The CDC recommends washing your hands for at least 20 seconds, ideally with soap and water, or, if you find yourself without access to soap and water, using hand sanitizer with a minimum of 60% alcohol. This will not only keep you safe from germs and viruses, but it will also keep your senior loved one safe.
Avoid crowded indoor spaces
As much as possible, seniors should do their best to avoid places that will be overcrowded during cold and flu season. Indoor spaces have fewer air exchanges to remove virus particles from the air, increasing the likelihood of spreading germs.
Maintain a healthy routine
Maintaining a healthy diet, staying well-hydrated, exercising regularly, and getting adequate sleep help keep immune systems strong and functioning.
Though it may seem like old-fashioned advice, it can prove invaluable to keep the immune system strong and to function well during cold and flu season.
Recognize signs of burnout
If you are your senior loved one's primary caregiver, it is best to make sure that you recognize when you are feeling burnout, especially with the holiday season approaching; trying to manage end-of-the-year work priorities and holiday stress while being a full-time caretaker can be a lot.
When you feel burned out, it is important to make sure that you take care of yourself. In the long term, this will help you help your senior loved one. Constant stress can compromise the immune system, so it's crucial to identify and manage it.
Signs of senior caregiver burnout can include:
- Difficulty sleeping
- Lack of interest in work
- Irritability and mood swings
- Depression and anxiety symptoms
- Overeating or not eating enough
- Frequently getting sick
At Visiting Angels of Bangor, we are here to help you, especially during the holidays when your time is needed elsewhere, and your social life needs more attention.
Schedule a FREE in-home consultation
Depending on your situation, support may be hard to come by. However, if you know you need a break from your caregiving duties to take care of yourself, reach out to Visiting Angels of Bangor today. We can work around your schedule and your loved one's needs.