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Getting Ready for Flu Season

Flu season can range from an inconvenience to a dangerous time, with potential complications from flu symptoms hitting seniors harder than any other demographic. It is important to think ahead and get ready before flu season hits so that you are at less of a risk of contracting and spreading the flu.

Here are our top tips to help you get ready for flu season.

Get vaccinated

You should get your flu shot as soon as possible before flu season as it takes around two weeks to take hold, but the general guideline is to be vaccinated by the end of October. Various facilities can provide seniors with the flu vaccine, and many retirement communities and assisted living facilities will also provide it for their residents.

Know the signs

You’re probably familiar with the traditional flu symptoms – runny or blocked nose, sore throat and coughing, headaches and muscle aches, a fever, tiredness. For more severe symptoms, the CDC recommends seeking medical care straight away, especially for the elderly. These may include:

  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pains
  • Severe vomiting or diarrhea

Knowing when to get treated can help to prevent serious complications and their consequences.

Reduce the spread of infection

It is not always easy to stay away from the germs and bacteria that cause the flu because those that have it become contagious several days before they start to show symptoms. So, it is important to be vigilant and maintain good hygiene practices to prevent contracting and spreading it.

You should wash your hands with soap or an antibacterial gel regularly throughout the day, especially after contact with someone else, if you have been sneezing or coughing, and always before and after eating or preparing food. It is also important to keep your hands away from your nose, eyes, and mouth in case you do have bacteria on your hands.

If you start to cough or sneeze during flu season, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re infected, but it is still more important than ever to cover your nose and mouth if this happens. Observe your symptoms to see if they worsen, and try to avoid contact with others in case you are infectious.

If you need any more advice on how to stay healthy this flu season, then these tips from the CDC on flu prevention can help.

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Blog

The Importance of Senior Medication Management

As we get older, we are likely to need a variety of different types of medications to manage our health and any ailments we have. For anyone, taking different pills and vitamins a certain number of times a day and at different times of the day can be confusing and difficult to manage. For seniors with memory problems, this becomes even more of a challenge.

Whether you’re trying to manage your own medications or are supporting a loved one with taking their medications, managing this properly is vital.

Why proper medication management is so important

Depending on the severity of the conditions being treated, a missed dose could be dangerous. This is why it is so important to stay on top of which pills need to be taken when and at what dosage. Because, on the other hand, taking too much can prove equally dangerous, as can mixing the wrong medications together.

Proper medication management can also involve monitoring your condition or that of your loved one, as this can alert you to any necessary changes in dosage. If their condition deteriorates, for example, then they may need to consult their doctor about increasing their dose or switching medications. Plus, being able to recognize the side effects of accidental overdose, no matter how minor, can help you to monitor whether a loved one is taking too much by mistake.

Tips for better medication management

Whether it’s for yourself or someone else, the best way to manage medication is to create a schedule or timetable to follow. You can put this up on the wall so that it’s somewhere noticeable and close to where you take or prepare the medication. A daily or weekly timetable can show what needs to be taken and when.

Pill boxes and organizers are also a handy tool, allowing you to keep the relevant pills organized in advance based on the time and day they need to be taking. This can be especially useful if you’re preparing medication for a family member who you do not live with, so you can get them organized for when you’re not there.

Make sure you or your family member understand how and when to take their medication and how to store it properly. You should also plan well in advance when it comes to refilling the prescriptions.

For seniors with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, properly managing medication by themselves can be close to impossible, depending on their severity of degeneration. This is where round-the-clock care will often be necessary, in the form of in-home care, assisted living, or a retirement community.

If you need support with senior care, our retirement community in Bermuda Run can give your loved one the kind of care and support they need while still maintaining their independence. Get in touch if you are interested, or you can take a virtual tour of our community.

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Blog

Transitioning to Assisted Living from Short-Term Rehab

When senior patients are discharged from the hospital and go straight back to their home, success rates are not great. Many patients end up being readmitted within a short space of time afterward. Maybe they weren’t ready to be discharged or maybe they just needed more post-care. Short-term rehabilitation is a good way to ease the transition from the hospital to regular living, giving the patient access to around the clock care, medication, and rehab exercises and activities.

Short-term rehab typically lasts for around 4-6 weeks, although this will vary. Afterward, you need to determine the best option for returning to everyday life. Some patients may be fit and ready to go back home, while others may need assisted living if they need a continuation of care. You will have access to a lot of the same support you received in short-term rehab, but on less of an around-the-clock basis.

This is another transition that could be challenging for seniors, so here are a few quick tips on how to ease the transition from short-term rehab to assisted living.

Make sure you’re well informed

Research the community or facility you’re moving to and ask any questions you have about it and your future life there. Knowing as much as you can about it will make you much more comfortable and can reduce the stress of moving into the unknown. Visiting your new apartment before you move can also be helpful if this is possible.

Get support

You shouldn’t be ashamed to rely on your loved ones and even your care staff for support during this transition. Regular visits from your family both in rehab and in assisted living helps greatly with your emotional well-being during this time. Getting their help with moving your belongings for you is also a big advantage for easing the process.

Make your new place feel like home

Have your important possessions moved to your assisted living apartment and decorate it in a way that feels like home. You can do this once you move in or have your family members go ahead and decorate for you while you’re still in rehab. This will give you a comfortable and almost familiar place to move into.

The transition is an important process and not one that you should rush through without thought. You should have support throughout this stage so that the change is not such a shock to the system, and it’s important that your care team are fully aware of the support you need.

Bermuda Village not only provide assisted living for seniors, but we also help you during this sometimes difficult transition.

 

 

 

 

 

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