According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it is estimated that adults over the age of 65 make up around 54-70 percent of flu-related hospitalizations and 70-85 percent of flu-related deaths. In addition, adults over the age of 65 are more likely to have pre-existing medical conditions such as heart disease, anemia, lung disease, or diabetes which can worsen and lead to hospitalization or even death, if they contract the flu.
As such, due to their heightened risk of health complications from the flu, the elderly must adopt flu prevention methods. In this guide, we teach caregivers ways of avoiding the flu for their loved ones.
Getting a Flu Shot
The most optimal way for your loved ones to avoid the flu is to get an annual flu vaccine shot, preferably in the late fall or as early as possible.
Even for your loved ones who may have weaker immune systems or weaker responses to vaccines, the flu shots can still help to protect them against illness or the dire consequences of the flu such as hospitalization and death. Additionally, it can also further mitigate the effects of the virus even when you or your loved ones have contracted the virus.
Adjusted yearly to help individuals better protect themselves against the seasonal flu strains, both the caregivers and your family members are encouraged to receive the flu shot each year. According to CDC, flu vaccination can help to greatly reduce the risk of contracting the flu by 40-60 percent. The high-dosage flu shot is an option that your loved ones can consider as studies have shown that it may be a more effective dosage for the elderly as compared to the standard dosage.
Staying On Top of Personal Hygiene and Health
Apart from going for annual flu shots, you or your loved ones can stay on top of your personal hygiene and health by taking daily hygiene and diet precautions. Such flu prevention methods can include:
- Rest once first symptoms of a virus or cold appear
- Avoid close contact with people who are feeling unwell
- Cleaning and disinfecting surfaces or countertops regularly
- Washing hands frequently
- Limiting mouth, nose, and eye contact
- Maintain a healthy diet to boost your immune system
- Strive for seven to nine hours of sleep every night
- Quit smoking since individuals who smoke have more exaggerated responses to the flu
Senior Living Programs at Rittenhouse Village At Muhlenberg
The elderly are at a higher risk of contracting the flu since their immune systems become weaker as they age, which may make it more difficult for them to defend against infections. As a caregiver, it is important to help your loved ones stay fit and healthy to keep the illnesses or viruses at bay. However, it may be tougher to care for your loved ones who are staying in isolation. If you are concerned for the well-being of your family members, Rittenhouse Village At Muhlenberg provides a multitude of senior living options your loved ones can live in and have their health-related needs be cared for by our health professionals. Contact us to learn more about Rittenhouse Village At Muhlenberg’s living programs today!