Autumn has arrived. While you might be enjoying the fall colors and cooler temperatures, it’s time to start thinking of one of the more unpleasant things that fall brings—the start of flu season.
For most people, getting the flu is merely unpleasant. However, for older adults, it can be dangerous. People who are aged 65 and older are at a greater risk of having serious complications due to the flu. It can even be deadly. Fortunately, there are things that can help prevent your aging relative from getting the flu this year and elderly care can help with all of them. Below are just 4 ways elderly care can do to prevent flu in seniors.
#1: Transportation for Vaccinations
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the single best way to prevent flu is to get an annual flu vaccination. It’s important to get a shot every year since the vaccination is reformulated each year to protect against the viruses scientists predict will be most common that year. Medicare Part B pays for one flu shot each season.
Getting a flu shot can be difficult for seniors who are no longer able to drive. Elderly care can offer transportation to a clinic or other facility where flu shots are available.
#2: Disinfecting Household Surfaces
Germs can be spread when someone touches a surface where the flu virus is present. To avoid spreading germs, experts recommend frequently washing areas that are touched a lot, such as countertops, faucets, and doorknobs.
Elderly care providers can help to keep the senior’s home clean and germ-free. They can wipe down surfaces using disinfecting cleaners and perform other household cleaning tasks.
#3: Washing Hands
Frequent and thorough hand washing can also prevent the spread of germs. Hands should be washed using soap and water. After lathering, scrub hands for about 20 seconds, which is roughly the length of time it takes to sing “Happy Birthday.” When soap and water aren’t available, use a hand sanitizer instead.
Elderly care providers can remind older adults to wash their hands often. If your aging relative has cognitive problems that make hand washing difficult, an elderly care provider can wash their hands for them or break the task down into simple steps.
#4: Supporting Good Health
Being in poor general health may make catching the flu more likely. Elderly care can help your loved one to stay healthier overall, which may lower their risk of flu. Elderly care providers can make healthy meals and snacks, help the senior to be more physically active, and remind them to take medications prescribed by the doctor.