Senior Flu Prevention and Taking Care of the Elderly
Preparing for the flu season is vital to the health of your aging loved one. Seniors over the age of 65 are at a greater risk due to their bodies not being as strong as they use to. Their bodies natural defense against viruses have weakened, making them more susceptible. While their bodies are busy fighting off the flu, they might pick up other infectious diseases such as pneumonia. If the senior’s health is already at risk due to other diseases such as heart disease, the flu can be very life-threatening, sometimes deadly.
Why does getting older increase your risk of getting the flu?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), people over the age of 65 are more likely to contract the flu because the immune system becomes weaker with age. Recent studies show that an estimated 70 to 90 percent of people who have died from seasonal flu-related deaths have been over the age of 65.
What are the signs of flu?
Symptoms of flu include sore throat, fever, headache, muscle aches and soreness, congestion, and cough. Some seniors may experience trouble breathing, persistently high fevers, and sweats or chills. If there is no improvement after a few days, it’s important to call your doctor immediately.
Is It the Flu or a Cold?
It’s important to know the difference between the flu and a common cold. Because they share similar symptoms, it’s easy to get the two confused. According to the CDC, a cold is a milder respiratory illness than the flu and are caused by different viruses. The symptoms for the flu are more common and intense, and often last longer.
How can you stay healthy this flu season?
The best way to stay healthy this flu season is to get vaccinated as soon as possible. Early detection and prevention is the key to fighting any type of infectious disease. Vaccination is one of the most effective ways to prevent catching the flu and spreading the flu. Use the Florida Department of Health’s FloridaHealth® website to locate places offering flu shots. In addition, Publix is offering a free $10 Publix gift card for everyone who gets immunized. For our senior Veterans, the West Palm Beach VA Medical Center is offering a free walk-in flu clinic.
Tips to avoid the flu
In addition to getting a flu vaccination, there are plenty of additional steps that you can take to avoid catching the flu this year.
- Drink lots of water
- Get plenty of rest
- Wash your hands with soap and water
- Avoid sick people
About Right at Home Palm Beach
The Right at Home Palm Beach office of Right at Home is a locally owned and operated franchise office of Right at Home, LLC, serving the communities of Boynton Beach, Greenacres, Juno Beach, Jupiter, Lake Worth, North Palm Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, Riviera Beach, West Palm Beach, and Wellington. For more information, visit Right at Home Palm Beach, or contact Bruce Gropper at (561) 440-2273 or by email at [email protected].