The weakening of the immune system naturally occurs as adults age. Thus, it’s more difficult for Senior Citizens to fight influenza (the flu). As symptoms worsen, they can lead to complications such as pneumonia. People over the age of 65 need to take extra precautions. We’ve compiled four ways to protect Senior Citizens from getting the flu.
Prevention is key. It’s better to not contract influenza in the first place. The number one way to protect yourself is an annual vaccine early in the flu season. New Jersey doctors’ offices and pharmacies offer flu shots that are covered by most insurance companies. Seniors who are at higher risk can talk to their doctor about high-dose vaccines for Older Adults.
2. Community Immunity
Even with a flu shot, some Senior Citizens’ immune systems struggle to build an immune response. It is crucial that friends and loved ones who visit Senior Citizens also get vaccinated. When the people around you are immunized, they can’t spread the flu virus, thus providing indirect protection for susceptible individuals.
Proper hygiene is an essential factor in preventing the flu. The influenza virus spreads through respiratory droplets from coughs and sneezes. It also spreads by wiping your mouth or nose and then touching another object or person. Sneeze and cough into a tissue or your inner elbow and wash your hands.
- Wet your hands using clean, running water.
- Lathering soap by rubbing hands together.
- Scrub for 20 seconds—backs of hands, between fingers, under nails.
- Rinse under clean, running water.
- Dry using a clean towel.
4. Healthy Habits
A healthy lifestyle boosts the immune system. Wholesome eating, regular exercise, and proper sleeping habits help the body fight infections. A nutrient-dense diet gives the body the building blocks it needs to fight infection. Maintain a diet rich in lean protein, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Those who don’t get enough micronutrients from food may benefit from a daily multivitamin. Talk to the doctor to learn if supplements are right for you.
One of our Companion Caregivers or Certified Homemaker-Home Health Aides can support your loved one in maintaining healthy habits.
Anita’s Angels, Inc. – We Are Families Helping Families. Call 908-788-9390.