Far from simply sniffles and a cough, the flu can strike older adults hard. With a weakened immune system, individuals over age 65 are especially at risk of complications from the flu, which can be quite serious. As we enter into flu season, Home With You Senior Care provides reliable flu facts that aim to assist you and the seniors you love be prepared for – and protected against – influenza.
Signs and Symptoms
Despite the fact that colds are widespread this time of year as well, there are several telling differences between a standard cold and the flu. For example, a cold can cause:
- Runny nose and sneezing
- Coughing and sore throat
Influenza can likewise produce these symptoms, but typically includes:
- Fever, aches, and chills
- Fatigue and weakness
- Discomfort in the chest
Senior loved ones displaying these signs and symptoms should see the physician immediately; an anti-viral prescription might help to reduce the severity and timeframe associated with the flu if taken within the first 48 hours after symptoms begin.
70% of hospitalizations and 85% of deaths from the flu take place in those ages 65 and older, frequently from the results of flu-related complications, including bronchitis and pneumonia. Make sure to locate prompt medical attention for older adults demonstrating these symptoms:
- Green, yellow, or gray mucous when coughing
- Chest pain
- Fatigue and difficulty breathing
- Decrease in body temperature
The flu can also result in sinus and ear infections, inflammation of the brain, heart, and muscles, and may aggravate pre-existing conditions including asthma.
As they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and thankfully, an excellent way of preventing the flu is available and is recommended for seniors: a high-dose version of the flu vaccine. September is the optimal time to make sure the seniors in your life obtain their flu vaccines, to guarantee the highest degree of protection when flu season hits (October through May).
Additional protective measures also include:
- Keep up a healthy lifestyle, which includes regular physical exercise, sensible dietary choices, and reduced stress
- Wash hands frequently and keep hands away from the face
- Stay away from crowds of people and high-traffic areas during flu season
- Keep the home environment clean and sanitized
Home With You Senior Care helps keep older adults safe and healthy in lots of ways as well! Our top-rated home care in Pikesville, MD is readily available to provide transportation for seniors to obtain their flu shots, attend regular medical appointments, prepare healthy meals, help with housecleaning, and much more.