It’s flu season. Senior citizens are particularly susceptible to the flu and complications from the illness. As caregivers, it’s important that we keep ourselves healthy and take extra steps to keep the seniors we care for safe from seasonal pathogens. Fortunately, it doesn’t require special suits. Here are some simple things you can do to protect seniors from the flu this winter.
Get the Vaccine
The flu vaccine is one of the best ways to protect yourself from getting the seasonal flu. Even if you do catch it, because vaccines train our bodies to respond to pathogens, your immune system will do its job more efficiently. For senior citizens, a seasonal vaccine can literally be a lifesaver. It’s also important for you to get your vaccine as their caregiver as well, most especially if they’re unable to get the vaccine.
Wash Your Hands
Washing your hands is one of the simplest and most effective things (outside of the vaccine) for preventing the spread of flu. Soap is very effective at breaking down dirt and pathogens. Wash your hands with soap and warm water for 20 seconds any time you have been exposed to the public and before you handle food or do something for the senior you care for.
When we make our bodies work, we trigger it to keep things working. Exercise is a good way to keep stay healthy and reduce the risk of getting sick. You keep your blood flow and body strong. It doesn’t take much activity – a daily walk or light, non-impact exercises will work wonders for improving the immune system.
Sanitize Keyboards, Mouse, and Mobile Devices
Everyday items carry all kinds of germs that often include viruses. Regular cleaning and sanitizing devices keep pathogens from spreading because of everyday usage. Clean them when you’ve been out in public so that anything you pick up doesn’t spread from them to the home.
A healthy diet is important to good immune health. Make sure that the senior you care for has a balanced diet that includes fruits and vegetables. Citrus and leafy vegetables are especially important to maintaining a healthy immune system.
Stay Away from People Who Are Sick
If you’re sick, make sure that you have someone who hasn’t been exposed who can take over the care of your loved one. It’s important to minimize a senior citizen’s exposure to people who may have the flu. It is especially important if they’re unable to be vaccinated themselves.
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