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Protecting Your Senior Loved One from Cold and Flu Season

By Nikhil Mehta, 9:00 am on

Cold and flu season is difficult for seniors in terms of staying healthy. Not only can seniors be more prone to getting sick, but also the negative effects can be more serious for them. With this year’s cold and flu season upon us, consider implementing these tips from Palm Desert Home Care Assistance to help keep your loved one healthy.

Avoid Heavily Crowded Situations

Within a large crowd of people, there are almost always one or more people sick. This means crowds tend to be a breeding ground for bacteria and germs, and consequently, a place where seniors are more likely to catch a cold or flu. While family obligations and social interaction can’t be avoided, very crowded situations may not be ideal for your senior loved one this time of year. Avoiding as many crowded situations during flu season as possible may help prevent your senior loved one from becoming ill. If your senior loved one does need to go out in a crowd, encourage them to carry hand sanitizer and even wear a mask while out.

Take Probiotics

The body naturally produces good bacteria that helps the immune system fight off illnesses. One of the best ways to give these good bacteria a boost is to encourage your loved one to eat foods that are rich in probiotics. One of the best sources of probiotics is yogurt that contains live cultures, though there are also supplements available if your loved one doesn’t like or cannot tolerate dairy. If you need help choosing a good probiotic, talk to a physician or nutritionist.

Get a Flu Shot

Flu shots are easier than ever to get now that many pharmacies are offering them. They’re also affordable or even free for most senior citizens. Doctors now recommend that seniors routinely receive a flu shot each year because the vaccine can provide protection against many strains of the illness and can ensure that your loved one will recover quickly should he or she get sick.

Keep Caregivers Healthy

Sometimes family caregivers in Palm Desert may unintentionally put their loved ones at risk by exposing them to the germs and bacteria they themselves accumulated throughout the day. If you’ve been around someone who isn’t well, shower and change your clothes before caring for your senior family member. If you know you’ll be spending time around someone who isn’t well, consider using a product like AirBorne to avoid sickness. If you think you may be coming down with something, don’t chance going near your senior loved one. Instead, appoint someone else to the caregiving duties until you know you are well or until you are deemed no longer contagious by your doctor.

If you are ill or are for any reason incapable of caring for your senior loved one, consider reaching out to Palm Desert respite care from Home Care Assistance. Our compassionate caregivers undergo extensive training to provide top-quality care for seniors for as long as you need them, whether it’s for a few hours each day or several times a week. Let us help your loved one age in place with the utmost dignity and comfort. Call an experienced Care Manager today at (760) 345-0001 and let us schedule a free consultation for your loved one.