Winter Health Tips: Stay Cold-Free This Season
We’re mid-way through cold and flu season, a time of year that is particularly important for those who work with the elderly. A virus that could easily be ignored by a much younger person can spell disaster for a senior care patient. Preventing the cold and flu is made easier when you follow these basic steps.
1. Get the flu vaccine.
Getting a yearly flu vaccination is one of the best preventative forms of medicine that the elderly and their caretakers can use during this time of year. Although we are well into the cold and flu season, vaccines are still available and can be very effective in preventing the most common type of flu. According the CDC, more than 200,000 people are hospitalized each year due to the seasonal flu and related conditions. If you work with seniors, the flu vaccine should be high on your “to do” list.
2. Develop healthy habits.
The flu vaccine is only effective against the most popular strains of the flu, and it isn’t 100% prevention for this season. Healthy habits can help prevent the spread of colds and flu and they are particularly important when working with the elderly. Covering your mouth when coughing or sneezing helps prevent the spread of airborne cold and flu germs. You should wash hands frequently, or use an antibacterial hand sanitizer if no water is available. Don’t touch your mouth, eyes or nose before working with seniors or handling food. These tips will help you stay healthy, or prevent you from passing on your cold to others.
3. An ounce of prevention.
Although there is no cure for the common cold, you can help boost your immune system with the right foods and vitamins. Eat a balanced diet including lots of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Drink plenty of water – at least eight 8-ounce glasses per day. Get enough sleep so that you feel rested and try to keep stress levels at a minimum. Making sure the elderly get the same type of preventative care is a top priority for all of our home health aids.
With these care tips, you can be sure that you keep the cold and flu at bay this winter.