It is flu season, so it is more important than ever that families know how to care properly for seniors who get sick. Seniors are more susceptible to the flu than their younger counterparts, so seniors and their caregivers need to know how to prevent it, recognize its symptoms, and how best to treat it when it occurs.
When flu season is just around the corner, it is never too soon to start thinking about getting flu shots for your senior family members. More people die from the flu than all other viruses and bacteria combined. Seniors are most at risk so do not underestimate the damage even a mild case can do.
Some people with chronic illnesses are especially vulnerable to influenza since they have difficulty recovering from the virus. Seniors who catch the flu are at risk for pneumonia and other severe illnesses.
Tips to Care for a Senior Family Have Flu
Tip 1: Seek Medical Attention Right Away
Flu season is just around the corner, and you know what that means: the sniffles, the fever, and lots and lots of sickness. But what happens when your elderly loved one shows flu symptoms? Should you contact their family doctor or seek medical attention right away? It can be confusing but knowing what to do can make all the difference.
Tip 2: Take Care of the Hydration
The flu can spread easily, and seniors are especially vulnerable since their immune systems weaken with age. To help you care for a senior family member with the flu:
- Start by getting dehydrated elderly loved ones to drink plenty of water.
- Help them drink lots of fluids and encourage them to drink at least 8 glasses of water a day.
- In fact, encourage them to drink even more if possible.
Tip 3: Make certain they get plenty of rest
Flu season is upon us, so it is time to ensure you are prepared. One of the best ways to avoid catching the flu in the first place is to make sure your immune system is ready to take on the challenge. One of the best ways to do that is to get plenty of rest, so snuggle up in bed with your loved one and make sure you get at least 7 hours of sleep every night. You cannot expect your body to fight a virus at 2 AM while you are wide awake, but you will get a lot more restful sleep if you allow yourself to wind down early.
Tip 4: Watch for Changes
In the past, the flu was seen as something that made adults sick and not something that could affect seniors. However, the flu can cause death in seniors, and since it is contagious, it can also spread to others. With flu season approaching, you must watch for changes in your family member and know what to do if they become ill with the flu.
Flu season is a dreaded time of year for many seniors. During the chilly winter months, the elderly are more susceptible to viruses and germs, and they can get the flu, too. Learning how to care for an elderly family member with the flu is an important skill that can help improve the elder’s condition and help them recover quickly.
We may not be able to change the aging process, but we can help seniors and their families manage and cope with the aging process. By following the four steps above, you can help seniors who have been diagnosed with the flu.
It is recommended you wash your hands often, cover your mouth when you sneeze, and stay home if you or your family show symptoms. The flu is a time-sensitive illness, so it is important to get treatment and care as soon as possible. As the flu can spread easily, it is important to prevent it.