Jan 20, 2017 by Matt Clinnard
For younger adults, the flu is just a nuisance that typically comes with cold weather. However, for seniors, it can bring many health complications and even have a fatal outcome. The flu, also known as influenza, can harm older adults because the human immune system starts deteriorating with age and can no longer fight illnesses effectively. Additionally, the flu can worsen many chronic conditions such as heart disease and diabetes, which are health problems often found in seniors. The most common flu-related complications include pneumonia, the development of infections, and dehydration.
Since the flu can be a real threat to older adults, home healthcare experts in Longview, TX, recommend that seniors take several precautionary measures to lower the risk of getting sick. It is particularly important to follow these guidelines during the fall and winter, when millions of people worldwide start experiencing the symptoms of the flu. Still, bear in mind that, contrary to popular belief, influenza can spread during the entire year, which means that taking those preventative steps all year round might be a wise decision.
The first and most important step in preventing the flu is getting vaccinated against the virus. While this vaccine is not one hundred percent effective, it is currently the single most powerful defense against influenza. As home healthcare professionals in Longview, TX, point out, getting vaccinated can drastically reduce the risk of getting the flu; however, it is of great importance that your loved one gets vaccinated against the flu every year, as the virus evolves and mutates over time. What this means is that this year’s flu vaccine can only protect us against this year’s virus. In other words, if your loved one got vaccinated last year, they are no longer protected and should receive a new shot as soon as possible.
Additionally, home healthcare experts in Longview, TX, strongly suggest that each and every person that has regular contact with your loved one, from family members to caregivers, gets vaccinated as well. As older people are more prone to getting sick during influenza season, family members, friends, and care providers who get the flu should avoid spending time with your senior loved one until they are completely recovered.
While vaccination is undoubtedly important in flu prevention, your loved one might want to consider additional precautionary measures that can keep them healthy and boost their immune system. For instance, home healthcare providers can encourage seniors to adopt a healthier diet and attempt to reduce stress to a minimum, which can be achieved through physical activity or meditation. Just these two small changes to their accustomed lifestyle can drastically increase their immunity, playing a crucial role in flu prevention.
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