The thought of your elderly parent contracting the flu can be a scary prospect. At this time of year, they are at the highest risk for not only developing the illness but also suffering the potentially devastating consequences related to it, including death. As a family caregiver you are prepared to care for your parent if they get sick and help them to recover, but it is vital that you also take steps to help prevent this illness in the first place. Guarding your parent from the flu protects their health and reduces the risk that they will suffer other infections and illnesses that can strike when their immune system is compromised by the virus.
Use these tips to help you prevent the flu in your aging parent:
- Talk to their doctor about the flu vaccine. While immunization is not appropriate for all people, it is considered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to be the most effective means of preventing flu for the majority of the population. The more people who get the vaccine, the less the virus spreads as well. Seniors tend to receive a higher dose vaccine to compensate for their lower immune system.
- Avoid contact with anyone who has been ill or who has been exposed to others who are ill. The virus causes symptoms to develop in 1 to 4 days after exposure, but can be contagious sooner and remain contagious even after the symptoms have cleared. Avoid letting those who have been ill, including you, visit or care for your parent until at least 10 days after exposure. Senior care and respite care can be extremely beneficial in this situation.
- Utilize aggressive handwashing to help reduce the spread of germs.
- Encourage your parent to stay properly hydrated and to eat a healthy, well-balanced diet to support their immune system and proper functioning.
- Pay close attention to any symptoms that your parent is exhibiting and get them to the doctor as soon as possible if they show signs of a cold or the flu. Proper treatment can help prevent worsened illness.
Starting senior care for your aging parent can be one of the best decisions that you can make for your elderly parent during the course of your caregiver journey with them. A senior home care services provider can be there with your aging parent on a schedule that is fully customized not just to your parent’s individual needs and challenges, but also to the care efforts that you give them. This ensures that your parent gets all of the care, support, and assistance that they need while also keeping you at the forefront of their care routine. The highly personalized services of this care provider are designed to help your parent manage their needs in the way that is right for them while also encouraging a lifestyle that is as independent, active, and engaged as they age in place. These can include assistance with personal care tasks, mobility support, help keeping the home clean, and providing transportation to get your parent where they need and want to go on their own schedule.
IF YOU OR AN AGING LOVED-ONE ARE CONSIDERING SENIOR CARE IN RICHARDSON, TX, PLEASE CONTACT THE CARING STAFF AT GOLDEN HEART SENIOR CARE TODAY. CALL (214) 272-2188.