Coping with the flu at any age can be an uncomfortable experience. However, seniors are particularly vulnerable to this illness and the side effects. Fortunately, there are steps that older individuals can take to minimize their risk, and that elderly care providers can keep in mind when giving aid. Below, learn how to keep an older individual safe and healthy.
Why Older Adults Are Vulnerable to the Flu
Some factions of the population are at a particularly high risk of developing complications if they develop the flu. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), this includes individuals over the age of 65. People who suffer from chronic conditions, such as heart disease and diabetes, are also at higher risk. Since these concerns tend to afflict older individuals, it leaves seniors and elderly care professionals in the position of taking extra precautions to safeguard their health.
Additionally, seniors who suffer from other pre-existing conditions may also be at considerable risk of developing lingering side effects and longer stays in the hospital. These conditions include kidney disease, liver problems, lung disease, obesity, asthma, and other respiratory issues. People whose immune systems are already compromised may have a more difficult time recovering, too. Common after-effects of flu among the elderly include pneumonia, sinus infections, bronchitis, heart failure, and dehydration.
Prevention Tips for Seniors & Caregivers
There are several steps that seniors and elderly care providers can take to ensure positive health and to prevent potential flu contraction. The CDC estimates that anywhere from 70% to 85% of flu-related fatalities affect people over the age of 65. They advise people in this age group to get a flu vaccine every year to prevent possible illness.
It’s also helpful to make specific lifestyle adjustments to support healthier daily routines. People’s immune systems gradually weaken with time, so taking steps to strengthen them is key. This includes eating a nutritious diet, adding supplements as approved by a medical professional, and exercising regularly. It’s also important to practice basic cleanliness, such as washing hands regularly and maintaining a clean living space.
Could your loved one benefit from some additional help? Turn to Red Oak Residence in North Bend, WA, for guidance. Specializing in compassionate elderly care, the assisted living facility is committed to the health and wellbeing of your older family member. They offer options for independent living, providing a safe and dependable environment with all of the creature comforts of home. Visit the website for more information, or call (425) 888-7108 to discuss your family’s needs.