As the cold and flu season comes around once again, we must remember to take good care of our seniors who are the most susceptible to contracting the illnesses that are most prevalent this time of year. Staying healthy is extremely important for elderly adults as even a common cold could prove tragic for seniors already dealing with major medical issues.
But it’s more than just seniors who need to get over the cold and flu season without catching anything, it’s also equally crucial for caregivers to remain healthy as well. These individuals are tasked with ensuring that elderly adults get all of the care they need to keep from being sick. But when a caregiver has a sore throat and a sniffle, they can easily pass the infection on to the senior for whom they are caring.
Should that happen, the senior in question is at a higher risk of catching their cold and this could exacerbate other medical concerns as well. At Seniors Helping Seniors, we want all elderly adults to live long, healthy lives which are why we offer these senior cold and flu care tips for the elderly and their caregivers to follow:
This is still one of the most effective tips for reducing the risk of catching a cold during cold and flu season. Our hands touch so many things throughout the day and they can accumulate all types of harmful bacteria and germs. That’s why it’s such a great idea to wash them with warm water and soap multiple times throughout the day, especially after handling or touching items that could be covered with germs.
When you do wash your hands, make sure you’re thorough about the process, remembering to get in between the fingers and along the back of the hand. These are the areas where germs hide best and they can contribute to a senior becoming ill.
Should you be unable to wash your hands after you touch something that could be covered in germs and bacteria, using alcohol-based hand sanitizer is a good, effective substitute.
Refrain from Touching Your Face
The face, particularly the mouth, the eyes, and the nose, is a direct link to your respiratory system and sinuses. Touching your face with dirty hands in these areas can expedite the process of becoming sick, all because you rubbed your eye or scratched your nose because of an itch.
In order to remain on the safe side of staying healthy, place something between your hand and your face if you must touch. This doesn’t even matter if you are just touching your chin or your cheek. Germs travel fast and you could be contaminating yourself without even knowing it.
Wipe Down all Surfaces
Bacteria can breed in areas that you may not even think of at first. But every time you touch a doorknob or door handle, a cabinet, a countertop, even the TV remote, you are coming into contact with germs that, if left unchecked, could lead to a senior becoming very sick. So here’s another smart senior cold and flu care tip; wipe down any common surfaces that multiple people may touch or interact with on a daily basis.
This is particularly important if an elderly adult spends any significant amount of time in one of these areas and has shown to have a higher risk of contracting an illness that might worsen a current condition that he or she is fighting.
Among the highest statistical factors that figure into the death of an elderly adult is pneumonia. Many seniors who get pneumonia will die from the complications that come with it. But the way that a senior can attract this sickness is by touching germs and bacteria that can lead to it.
So remember to wipe all surfaces down on a daily basis. You don’t need much to get the job done, just some hot water and soap should clean any common area nicely. For those somewhat dirtier environments that a senior may find him or herself in, a store-bought cleaner with bleach or disinfecting wipe can kill 99.9% of the germs that cause most common colds and illnesses.
Stock up on Vitamin C
This vitamin is well-known to adults and children alike as a powerful booster for the immunity of you and your loved ones. When you’re taking vitamin C, you are providing your family with the necessary tools for warding off illness. Many adults will take vitamin C for daily maintenance and warding off the effects of cold and flu season.