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  • Flu Prevention Tips for Seniors and Caregivers


    The cold and flu season is upon us again. Unfortunately, seniors and caregivers are two of the most likely groups of people to get sick. Older adults have weaker immune systems and so do most caregivers (due to lack of sleep and chronic stress). And because you spend a lot of time together, you’re more likely to pass germs back and forth.

    Even so, there’s still a lot that you can do to reduce the chances that you or your older adult will get sick and to reduce the length or severity of an illness. Basically, the goal is to boost the immune system and reduce exposure to germs. Here’s 10 tips for avoiding the flu and in case you or your older adult gets sick.

    10 cold and flu prevention tips reduce risk for seniors and caregivers

    1. Get the flu vaccine

    Getting a flu shot reduces the risk of getting the flu. It also reduces the severity of the illness and protects against complications – both especially important for seniors. When you get a flu shot, you reduce the risk that you’ll get sick and infect your older adult.

    2. Wash or sanitize hands thoroughly and often. Frequently hand washing with regular soap is an effective way to get rid of cold and flu germs.

    3. Exercise regularly. Moderate exercise boosts the immune system and could reduce risk of a cold by a third.

    4. Avoid touching the eyes, nose, and mouth. We often touch our faces without thinking, which is a common way for cold and flu germs to enter the body.

    5. Clean the environment to eliminate germs. Try to keep the environment as germ-free as possible. That means using disinfectant when cleaning, especially in the bathroom and kitchen.

    6. Sanitize your mobile devices. Something that many people forget is how dirty and germ-filled their mobile device is. Clean it regularly with sanitizing wipes or rubbing alcohol – being careful not to wet the electronics.

    7. Stay away from people who are sick. It might sound obvious, but it’s worth repeating: keep your distance from people who are sick.

    8. Avoid crowds and unnecessary travel. Try to avoid being in large groups of people, especially in poorly-ventilated spaces. That increases the chance of catching a cold or flu from an infected person.

    9. Drink plenty of liquids. Drinking plenty of liquids, especially plain water or hot tea, helps the nasal passages stay moist and trap germs before they can spread into the body.

    10. Get added Vitamin C and protein through nutritious foods. Some studies have shown that a little extra Vitamin C (but not too much) can reduce the risk of getting sick.

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