FLU SHOTS: FOR SENIORS AND THEIR CAREGIVERS
Seniors and their caregivers are especially susceptible to the flu. While most caregivers who are sick usually keep their elderly loved ones at home, severe flu seasons can create challenges for everyone involved in senior caregiving. The risk of getting the flu adds to the stress many caregivers already have taking care of an elderly person.
The stresses of caring for a senior loved one can easily cause an increased risk of illness, especially during flu season. Studies have shown that caregiving can negatively affect the caregiver’s health. When the caregiver’s health worsens, the elderly person’s health often suffers as well, especially for those who are caring for someone with a progressive disease like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and other diseases. The flu season is difficult to contend with and the elderly and their caregivers need to be particularly aware and vigilant during these seasons.
Here are some tips to get through the flu season:
Get a flu shot.
Get enough sleep/rest so you’re less susceptible to illness.
Avoid close contact with sick people.
Consider adult day services or respite care for your loved one.
Use a handkerchief or sneeze and cough onto your shirt sleeve so droplets do not spread to others nearby.
Stay home if you are sick.
Wash your hands often with soap and water.
Disinfect surfaces in your home or wherever there are elderly people.
Caregivers should take special note to care for themselves. Caregiving is tough enough as it, but being sick and trying to care for others is even more difficult--in fact, it’s something advisable that caregivers should not do. The Health Ministry provides influenza vaccine at its health facilities as a preventive measure for treating patients in high-risk groups including children and the elderly. Obviously, patients should get advice from their doctors before taking any medication, as doctors will prescribe a suitable treatment after assessing a patient’s condition.
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