September 15th marks national “Get Ready for the Flu Day.” This time of year, it is particularly crucial for older adults to get the latest flu vaccine. A new flu vaccine is created every year to protect against new viruses during this season—it is the most potent and effective tool to help evade the flu. The flu vaccine is easy to come by and should be sought out yearly.
If you’re looking for in home care Orange County to help keep your loved one healthy, make sure your home care provider has a dedication to the communities they serve and can provide personalized care plans. For instance, maybe your need for home care is based on providing a companion to escort or drive your older adult to doctor’s appointments? A compassionate home care provider is someone you and your family can rely on.
Get A Flu Shot Early
It’s recommended to get a flu shot early in the season so that the body has a chance to build up strength and immunity to the virus. Moreover, it takes about two weeks for the flu shot to offer protection. If you miss the early shots, getting a flu shot later can still help.
The flu season can begin in early September and last until as late as May. According to the National Institute on Aging, getting a seasonal flu shot may reduce hospitalization by about 60% and death by about 75% among older adults who do not live in nursing homes.
The flu (short for influenza) is a common respiratory virus easily transmittable through coughing, sneezing, singing, or even talking. Typical flu symptoms include:
- Sore throat
- Body aches
- Fatigue (may last 2-3 weeks)
- Chest discomfort
- Runny or stuffy nose
Flu symptoms tend to subside in just a few days if one stays adequately hydrated and gets enough sleep. However, in some cases, the symptoms may cause a more severe situation. Older adults are particularly high-risk. For example, the virus can complicate an existing chronic condition (such as heart or lung disease). It may also result in pneumonia or high fever. At times, hospitalization can be required. Because seniors are at a higher risk, in home care may be a safer alternative than assisted living facilities.
Perhaps you have heard that older adults with chronic diseases are the folks who are at the highest risk of problems associated with seasonal flu? According to WebMD, individuals older than age 80 have the highest risk of dying from seasonal flu complications; those older than age 70 face the second-highest risk of flu complications. Children age four and younger have the third-highest risk of problems with seasonal flu. Complications of flu in seniors can include:
- Worsening of chronic health conditions, including lung conditions such as emphysema and asthma and heart disease
Find Care You Can Trust
It’s essential to seek medical care immediately if you notice any flu complications. The sooner medical treatment starts, the faster it can work to treat symptoms. Other recommendations for preventing and treating flu symptoms in older adults include:
- Get plenty of sleep.
- Drink a lot of liquids.
- Ask the pharmacist or doctor before buying over-the-counter flu or cold medicine to make sure it won’t complicate any existing medical conditions or interfere with prescription drugs.
At Home Care Providers, our mission is to provide the best home health care that you and your family can trust. We understand that each care situation is unique; that is why we provide personalized care plans based on providing stability and compassion for your loved one.
For additional information, please call 714-672-6877 to schedule a free consultation.