4 Things Seniors Should Keep in Their Homes During Flu Season
As the weather gets colder and the days get shorter, it's time to start thinking about flu season, which typically occurs from October to May. For seniors, this time of year can be especially dangerous. The flu can be a serious illness, and seniors are more likely to experience complications from its symptoms.
During the flu season, seniors need to take extra precautions during this time to avoid getting sick. Here are four things seniors should keep in their homes during flu season:
1. Medications or Treatments for the Flu
There are antiviral medications and treatments available to help seniors fight the flu. These drugs can make the symptoms of the flu less severe and shorten the duration of the illness. Seniors should take these medications as soon as possible after they develop flu symptoms.
Several over-the-counter medications can help relieve flu symptoms like fever, aches and pains, and congestion.
Seniors should also talk to their doctor about getting a flu shot and taking antiviral medications if they are at high risk for complications from the flu. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests that anyone above six months should receive a flu shot annually.
Seniors may need to get a higher-dose or adjuvanted flu vaccine, which contains an extra ingredient to help boost the immune response.
2. Supplies for Comfort While Sick During Flu Season
When feeling under the weather, the last thing a senior want is to leave a comfortable spot on the couch. However, sometimes they have to. No matter where they have to go, there are supplies to help them remain comfortable.
First, ensure the senior has a healthy supply of tissues. They will need to blow their nose, thus, requiring tissues on hand at all times.
Next, stock up on cough drops. They can help soothe a scratchy throat and make it easier to talk.
If the senior has a fever, purchase a thermometer to keep track of their temperature.
Keeping surfaces clean and disinfected is important for preventing the flu virus spread, so add cleaning supplies to the shopping list during flu season.
If they feel lousy, buy a heating pad to relieve aching muscles and capo rub for congestion.
Using hand sanitizer is a great way to kill germs and prevent the spread of the flu virus. Therefore, buy hand sanitizer to prevent spreading the flu to loved ones.
A humidifier is another vital thing to have when with flu. It adds moisture to the air, which can help relieve congestion.
3. Staple Groceries
Certain staple groceries can be extremely helpful for seniors when they are down with the flu. Fluids like water, juice, tea, and soup should be at the top of the list to remain hydrated while sick with the flu. Water and tea can especially help hydrate seniors, while a tea can soothe a sore throat. Tea also has antioxidants that can help boost the immune system.
If a senior particularly likes soup, adding soup to their diet while sick can soothe a sore throat and ease congestion. It's also packed with nutrients to help the body fight the virus. So, consider purchasing chicken broth, noodles, and other ingredients for making homemade soup.
Fruits and veggies are very beneficial when fighting an illness. When fighting the flu, stock up on fruits and leafy greens rich in vitamin C. Other staple groceries during flu season include soothing spices like garlic, turmeric, cayenne, and ginger.
4. Fun Supplies
If possible, avoid places with large groups of people to reduce exposure to the flu virus. A senior can stay in a room with minimal exposure to others, so they don't pass the virus on to others.
There are plenty of fun supplies or distractions that seniors can use to minimize any time spent out in public while they have the flu. Some great options include playing card games, listening to music, watching movies, or reading books.
By preparing to stay home, a senior can avoid catching the flu. If a senior loved one cannot leave the house, arrange for someone to bring them items during the flu season.
Consider In-Home Senior Care Services to Allow You Live Safely in Your Home
In-home senior care can be the key to attaining the highest quality of life possible during the flu season and throughout the year. It can enable security, safety, and increased independence.
At Senior Helpers, we provide in-home senior care services to help seniors in Santa Rosa, Ukiah, Sebastopol, and Rohnert Park stay healthy and age in place. We are honored to have been ranked among the Best Workplaces for Millennials in 2022 by Fortune.