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.
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:
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.