The flu is one of those illnesses that your senior might not think about until people around her are getting sick. There are a lot of issues that could make the flu dangerous for your aging family member, so it’s important to make sure that you’re doing the right thing for her individual situation.
Talk to Her Doctor
Talking to your senior’s doctor about her flu concerns is the first big step in this process. Your senior’s doctor can let you both know what her flu risk is and whether it’s a big concern for her or not. Her doctor may also have specific pointers for her that she can use to lower her own flu risk considerably.
A Flu Shot is a Possibility
One possibility that your elderly family member might consider is the flu shot. Flu shots vary each year by what is projected to be in the virus that season or that year. The flu vaccine doesn’t keep your senior from getting sick, but it can help her to avoid getting as sick as she might have without the vaccine. It’s definitely an option for her to consider. You and other family members who spend time with your senior might want to consider getting the flu vaccine, too.
Wash Hands Regularly
Probably the best way to get rid of potentially harmful germs is to wash your hands and your senior’s hands often. There are great ways and iffy ways to wash your hands. You want to always use plain soap and warm water. The other factor is time. You want to wash for at least a minute.
Elder care providers can show you some of their tricks for washing more effectively.
Let Her Doctor Know if She Does Get Sick
If your senior does get sick, with or without the flu vaccine, it’s a good idea to let her doctor know. Diagnosing the flu as quickly as possible ups the chance that your senior can take medications designed to shorten the duration of the flu. With an accurate and fast diagnosis, you can get your elderly family member the right treatment.
The flu is sometimes more virulent than it is at other times. It’s a good idea to keep up with your local health department’s information about the flu in your area. Some areas have email or text message newsletters you can opt into that keep you informed any time there’s new information.