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Infection Prevention for Seniors

Among the other effects of aging, the immune system weakens. Since the immune system is responsible for fighting off diseases and infections, it's not difficult to understand why this can be a problem for older adults. In addition to the risks that a sickness or an infection can pose, many seniors have chronic health conditions or are taking medications that can make the outcome of one even worse. Whether a senior is living at home, in a community, or with extended family, there are many steps older adults can take to shield themselves from the effects of an infection or a disease.

  • Get recommended vaccines: The most prominent idea here is the COVID-19 vaccine, but there are many other vaccines for many other diseases, like the flu, shingles, hepatitis B, and more. Talk with your doctor about what vaccines and vaccine boosters are available
  • Frequent handwashing: The early days of COVID stressed washing hands every opportunity for at least 10 seconds, and for good reason. Germs are everywhere, and the porous tissues of the mouth, nose, and eyes are ideal places for them to enter the body. Our hands, being the way we interact with the world, frequently pick up germs and pathogens from things like door handles, touchscreens, and more. Avoiding touching your face and nose, and frequently washing your hands prevents infection.
  • Clean surfaces: The obverse of hand washing, surfaces that are touched frequently pick up germs and pathogens from peoples’ hands. By sanitizing them frequently, you can clean them of the harmful germs that your hands might pick up. Things like doorknobs, handrails, and any other common surfaces can spread disease through touch, necessitating regular disinfection.