Flu and Cold Prevention Tips for Seniors and Home Care

It is now officially cold again. This year we also have to consider the coronavirus Covid-19. Unfortunately, the elderly and those caring for them are often the most susceptible to illness. A weakened immune system is common among those who care for the elderly (due to lack of sleep and chronic stress). Spending a lot of time with people increases the likelihood of getting ill. However, you can do plenty to lessen the duration or intensity of a cold or the flu, and to lessen the likelihood that you or your elderly loved one may get ill. The main objectives are a stronger immune system and less time spent among pathogens.

Always Ensure a Senior Washes Their Hands

Home Care Glenview, IL: Cold and Flu Prevention

Home Care Glenview, IL: Cold and Flu Prevention

Regular hand washing with soap helps eliminate respiratory viruses like the common cold and flu. Standard soap is acceptable; the key to killing germs is rubbing hands together vigorously for at least 20 seconds, or long enough to sing “Happy Birthday” twice. Don’t forget to scrub your wrists, backs of your hands, in between your fingers, and beneath your nails. Hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol is effective against cold and flu viruses if you can’t wash your hands often with soap and water. Those who are elderly and have difficulty getting up and down, such as those who cannot use a standard sink, may benefit from this. Home care providers may help remind a senior to thoroughly wash their hands. 

Keep Exercising Even On Cold Days

Even moderate exercise may help strengthen the immune system and lower the likelihood of catching a cold by as much as a third. A routine exercise benefits the body and immune system, although caring leaves little time for exercise and older persons may not have a lot of stamina.

Avoid Touching Eyes, Nose, and Mouth

Accidental face touching is a major route for spreading respiratory viruses like the common cold and the flu. Avoiding unnecessary face-touching may help you avoid becoming ill. This is something that everyone should practice. 

Keep a Clean Environment

You should do everything you can to prevent the spread of germs. That includes applying a disinfectant in the kitchen and bathroom while cleaning. Doorknobs, light switches, and countertops are just a few places where germs love to congregate, so it’s important to clean these areas often. Also, it’s important to regularly replace cleaning cloth and sponges (which may harbor germs) and to disinfect them by soaking them in bleach, microwaving them for a couple of minutes, or placing them in the dishwasher. Keep in mind home care can also help a senior keep their bedrooms and bathrooms clean. A seniors should be disinfecting those spaces regularly. 

Avoid Other Seniors Who Are Sick

Distance yourself from sick individuals; it may seem silly, but it’s for your own good. If you must be with someone ill, try to keep your distance and refrain from physical contact such as handshakes and hugs. This may also mean staying away from sick grandkids or even their home care providers who have a cold.

If you or an aging loved one are considering Home Care in Glenview, IL, contact the caring staff at Companion Services of America today at (847) 943-3786. Our home care service area includes Northbrook, Highland Park, Deerfield, Glenview, Buffalo Grove, Evanston, Des Plaines, Skokie, Lake Forest, Wilmette and the surrounding areas.

Jamie Shapiro