Did you know flu season lasts from October through May? Older adults are especially vulnerable to flu. I came across a helpful article yesterday that gives 6 flu prevention tips for older adults. Some of the strategies are common sense, such as always washing your hands. But it is important to take it one step further, and make sure family members, caregivers, friends, and others who are in close proximity to an older adult, also wash their hands. This especially includes children visiting grandma and grandpa. If you are visiting a residential facility, such as a nursing home or personal care home, check to see that there are hand sanitizer dispensers around the place.
Another important tip is to get the flu shot. If your senior loved one lives in a residential facility or you are visiting it to see if it is a good fit for you or your loved one, ask about their policies to educate residents to get the flu shot, and to minimize the spread of infection. For seniors living at home, as well as family and caregivers, most pharmacy chains can give you the flu shot. Target, for example, is currently offering a $5 gift card if you get your flu shot there. Check it out here.
As always, if you have any questions or concerns talk with your doctor or nurse. For seniors living in a 55 and over community or senior housing building, or for those going to senior centers, visit the nurse to get any questions answered.