When winter comes around, so do various illnesses. Though getting sick can be a major annoyance to any adult, it can have a significantly worse impact on those who are over age 65. Pembroke Pines, FL, caregivers have 5 tips that can help your aging loved one prevent illness during the winter months.
1. Get Flu Shots Early
Viruses tend to evolve and adapt, which is why it is so important for the elderly to get new flu shots every year. Doctors must closely follow these adaptations to come up with an annual vaccine that can effectively combat the new strains. Getting the shots early allows your loved one’s body to adjust to the new strains well before the first wave comes through his or her town.
2. Stay Hydrated
In addition to drinking 8 full glasses of water per day, your loved one should also try to stay hydrated from other sources. Many people are surprised to hear certain foods actually contain quite a bit of water and do a good job of keeping the human body hydrated. Watermelons, cucumbers, strawberries, and lettuce are all excellent options for seniors who have difficulty getting enough water throughout the day.
3. Use Alcohol-Based Hand Sanitizer
Though washing the hands multiple times a day is one of the best ways to get rid of clinging germs, seniors don’t always have access to a sink 24 hours a day. Hand sanitizers now come in convenient squeeze bottles that can be kept in your loved one’s pocket, glove compartment, or purse. According to the CDC, the most effective hand sanitizers contain between 60 and 80 percent alcohol.
4. Skip Public Spaces
Even seniors who do everything in their power to prevent the flu can still be susceptible to new strains. If you hear about a local outbreak, encourage your loved on to avoid most public spaces for at least a week or two. It is also important to tell family and friends they should keep out of your loved one’s home if they have recently shown any signs of being ill or have come into contact with someone who is sick.
5. Eat More Vitamin C
A 2007 study published by MedlinePlus found vitamin C supplements can reduce cold and flu symptoms by as much as 85 percent. This nutrient is a powerful antioxidant that supports the immune system and combats dangerous free radicals. Seniors who want to increase their vitamin C intake should add oranges, red peppers, and kale to their diets.
Preventing illness during any time of the year can be challenging for seniors, especially those who live alone. However, with the help of a dedicated caregiver, your loved one can take the necessary measures to remain healthy while living in the comfort of home. At Home Care Assistance, our respite and live-in caregivers can prepare nutritious meals, provide transportation to and from medical appointments, and help with a wide array of tasks around the house. For more information on the elder home care Pembroke Pines seniors count on, call one of our experienced Care Managers at (954) 374-8273.