How to Protect Your Parents During Flu Season
No one enjoys getting the flu, but the illness can be particularly dangerous for those over 65. The flu can lead to issues like pneumonia and dehydration, and can make pre-existing conditions like asthma worse. Luckily, there are a number of ways that you can help to protect your senior parents during flu season.
Cahoon Care has come up with a number of tips to help reduce your parent’s risk of catching the flu this year.
Consider the Flu Shot
The flu shot is an effective method to reduce your loved one’s chances of getting the flu. Flu shots are often available for free or at a low cost, and Medicare also often provides coverage for flu shots. Be sure to talk with your parent’s physician to make sure that they are a suitable candidate for the flu shot.
But remember, the flu is easily spread, and you can be contagious before you even know that you have the flu. For more effective flu prevention, think about having all of your family members get a flu shot also.
Practice Good Hygiene
Make it easy for seniors to practice good hygiene. Keep soap located at all of the sinks in your parent’s home, and give your parent a bottle of hand sanitizer to keep in their car or purse. If you go shopping with your parent, sanitize the shopping cart or basket handles. And if your elderly loved one has poor memory, encourage them to wash their hands before eating and after using the bathroom.
Avoid Crowded Areas
The flu can quickly spread through crowded areas, including grocery stores, work offices, and even doctor’s offices. If you know that the flu is going around, it may be a good idea to keep your senior loved ones out of these crowded places.
This is one of the many reasons that home care can be so beneficial for the elderly. Nursing homes and assisted living environments are naturally crowded, and disease can spread quickly. When you invest in home care, your parent is able to stay in the comfort of their own home and won’t be exposed to such highly populated areas during flu season. This may make the difference between your parent avoiding or contracting the flu.
Watch for Symptoms
Despite your preventative measures, it is still possible that your parent will get the flu. Watch for common symptoms, which include fever, body aches, chills, fatigue, vomiting, and diarrhea, and bring your parent to the doctor if you suspect they have the flu.
Good preventative measures may spare your loved one from the flu. Cahoon Care wishes you and your family a healthy and happy 2017.
If you or a loved one is in need of professional in-home care in the greater Boston or Bar Harbor area, contact Cahoon Care today for more information or a free in-home assessment.