With so much focus on COVID-19, it’s easy to forget that there is a normal cold and flu season going on too. And just like in every cold & flu season, it’s time for seniors and their caregivers to take extra precautions. These illnesses can be doubly miserable for seniors because generally speaking seniors tend to have weaker immune systems. To avoid passing germs back and forth to one another, here are 5 essential cold and flu prevention tips from our senior care team in South Jersey.
- Wash hands more often. This should go without saying, but sometimes we all need a friendly reminder! Frequent hand washing with regular soap for at least 20 seconds is a very effective way to get rid of germs that cause the cold and flu. Consider carrying around hand sanitizer if you’re out and about during the harsh winter months.
- Wear a mask. It’s not just a good idea for COVID! When visiting with Mom and Dad, require people to wear a mask, and get Mom and Dad to wear one too if possible. Masks work for all airborne viruses, so if you want to keep them healthy, this extra precaution is really important for minimizing the spread of germs, especially for strangers, workers, or delivery people who may come in and out of the home.
- Build up the immune system. Sleeping well, staying hydrated, and packing your diet with extra vitamin C, fruits, and vegetables are all great first steps to build up immunity against colds and other viruses. Other ways to strengthen our immune systems include regular exercise and effective stress management. If you or a loved one would like to “kill two birds with one stone,” look into trying low-impact yoga. It’s a great workout that incorporates meditation and breathing exercises to help reduce stress.
- Keep your distance. As we’ve learned with COVID-19, it’s important to keep your distance if you’re feeling under the weather. You and your senior loved one should also avoid big crowds during this season if possible because you never know what germs others could be carrying. Avoid putting your hands near your eyes, nose, and mouth until you are able to properly sanitize.
- Sanitize your environment and devices. Speaking of sanitizing, it’s equally as important to clean you and your loved one’s living spaces and common-touch areas like phones, kitchen counters, doorknobs, and other electronic devices. Use disinfectant products like Clorox while cleaning areas in the house to ensure the environment is as “germ-free” as possible. As for mobile and electronic devices, it’s best to avoid water and clean the devices with sanitizing wipes or a little rubbing alcohol.
- Consider getting a flu shot. Another preventative measure is to consider getting vaccinated for the flu. Flu shots reduce the risk of contracting the virus and reduce harmful side effects for seniors especially. Not to mention, they are easily accessible through a doctor, at the local drug store, or even the supermarket. If you’re worried about you or a loved one getting the flu shot, we recommend seeing a doctor first that can address all health concerns.
Health-conscious assisted living in Camden County NJ
At UMC at Collingswood, our associates, caregivers, and medical professionals are on-site 24/7 to ensure each residents’ health needs and safety concerns are met at all times. Our assisted living community promotes healthy and abundant senior living through nutrition-packed meals, fitness programs, and top-of-the-line health and safety protocols in accordance with the World Health Organization (WHO).
To find out more about our health and safety procedures for our senior residents in Camden County, please contact us today or visit our website at: https://collingswood.umcommunities.org/
Original blog posted on https://collingswood.umcommunities.org/collingswood/5-cold-flu-prevention-tips-for-seniors/