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Fall Flu Prevention Tips for Seniors

October 27, 2015

As we age, our immune system begins to weaken, which means seniors must take a proactive approach to preventing the flu. While general health and hygiene must always be top of mind, they are even more important during flu season. Flu outbreaks can begin as early as October, so the sooner you create a plan the better for your body’s well-being!

Remember to always consult with your doctor or health professional before making any changes to your lifestyle, like starting a new diet or exercise regimen.

hand washingConsider Getting the Flu Shot
If you haven’t already given thought to getting a flu shot, give your doctor a call today and discuss if the flu shot is in your best interest. The great thing about flu shots is that they are an easy vaccination to get as long as you act soon enough. Many pharmacies administer the shot, or you can schedule an appointment with your primary care physician. Keep in mind that you must be feeling well when you get the shot – no cough, cold, or fever. If you are feeling a little under the weather, wait until you are back to normal before getting your flu shot.

Increase Your Antioxidants
Antioxidants are naturally occurring properties found in many of the unprocessed foods we eat. Antioxidants are important because they help to fight off the free radicals and germs that weaken our immune systems. To support your immune system, eat a well-balanced diet high in fiber and antioxidants. Some of the foods highest in antioxidants include fruits and vegetables. You can also find antioxidant supplements. Vitamin C-filled fruits and supplements are some of the most flu-fighting antioxidants.

Stay Hydrated
Another way to help flush out free radicals and toxins is to ensure that you are properly hydrated. Since it is starting to get a bit colder out, find a few herbal teas that you enjoy. Herbal teas are not only hydrating, but they can also be an excellent source of antioxidants. Also increase water consumption, electrolyte-filled beverages, and fresh juice and smoothies. Consume soda, coffee and processed bottled juices in moderation.

Practice Good Hygiene
Even if you make it a habit to practice good hygiene, you must keep in mind that not everyone else that you come in contact with does. A few hygiene reminders to help keep you healthy include:

  • Wash your hands before eating
  • Wash your hands when you get home
  • Avoid touching your face or eyes
  • Sneeze into a tissue, or into your arm
  • Carry tissues or a handkerchief with you
  • Carry hand sanitizer and antibacterial wipes when out and about
  • Stay home when you are sick

Tweak Your Cleaning Routine
Another thing seniors should consider during flu season is what changes can be made to their cleaning routine. As mentioned above, it is a good idea to wash your hands after heading out and about – but also consider increasing the frequency in which you disinfect doorknobs, handles, light switches, remote controls, keyboards and other surfaces with lots of contact. You could do this daily with rubbing alcohol on a paper towel or clean cloth, or use any other antibacterial cleaner.

While they may not sound like much, the tips above can play a vital role in helping to reduce your likelihood of getting the flu. Encourage those you frequently come in contact with to turn to the same tips too. If you’re looking for another way to improve your health and wellbeing, consider moving into one of the senior living communities from Concordia Lutheran Ministries, or taking advantage of our Home & Community Services. With locations all throughout Western Pennsylvania and Eastern Ohio, you can rest assured that you will find the perfect fit for all of your care needs. Relax, unwind and live your retirement years to the fullest - contact Concordia Lutheran Ministries today.

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