When temperatures drop, it’s time to think about cold and flu prevention, especially for older adults and seniors. For quick tips to avoid the flu and to know which symptoms to look for, follow this breakdown of the most effective prevention methods.
When is Flu Season?
The cold and flu season technically lasts from the beginning of fall to the end of spring. While influenza often starts to spread during October to November, peak flu season tends to fall between December and February.
Cold and Flu Prevention
Because the flu is always a concern during winter months, it’s crucial to be in the know about the most important cold and flu prevention tips, including:
- Get a flu shot
- Stay away from people with the flu
- Avoid touching your face
- Drink a lot of fluids
- Wash your hands
Not surprisingly, the single most important thing you can do to avoid the flu is to get vaccinated. Places like Walgreens, CVS, Patient First, and Kroger are offering free or low-cost flu shots. Another simple tip is to avoid spending time around people who have already caught the flu.
Fluids, especially water, help flush bacteria out of our bodies. In addition to drinking a lot of water, it’s beneficial to eat healthy food and get enough rest. It’s also crucial to consistently wash your hands during the cold and flu season. Whether you’ve used the bathroom, been to a public place, or come into contact with someone who’s sick, wash your hands thoroughly afterwards.
How to Prevent Flu in Older Adults
Children and seniors are especially susceptible to catching the flu. It tends to be more serious in older adults because influenza can lead to additional complications, especially for people who suffer from asthma, diabetes, heart problems, or lung disease. The flu on top of other health complications can cause pneumonia, sinus infections, ear infections, bronchitis, and sometimes heart failure. With a weakened immune system, it’s harder for the body to fight off sickness.
If you or a loved one starts to show these flu symptoms, visit your doctor as soon as possible:
- Muscle weakness
- Fever and chills
- Sore throat
- Persistent cough
To avoid the flu in seniors, it’s important to follow the steps listed above which include getting a flu shot, staying away from others who are sick, drinking a lot of water, and consistently washing your hands.
Don’t be unprepared this flu season – know how to prevent getting sick, what symptoms to look for, and where to find medical help!