Cold & Flu Prevention for Older Adults

By Diane Walker  RN, MS, CSA

Getting a cold or — even worse — the flu is a miserable inconvenience for anyone. For an older adult, the outcome can be worse than a Flu picturefew missed days at work or the inability to enjoy one’s activities, it can be much more serious. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “…90% of seasonal flu-related deaths and more than 60% of seasonal flu-related hospitalizations in the United States each year occur in people 65 years and older.” Older immune systems tend to be weaker which allows the flu to turn into more serious conditions such as bronchitis and / or pneumonia.

While an illness can hit anyone at any time, there are ways to prevent developing a cold or the flu. The best way to treat a cold or flu is to not get it in the first place. Prevention is key. Seniors and their caretakers should keep the following tips in mind to keep an older adult healthy: Continue reading

Simple Tips to Avoid Colds and Flu

From the Practical Care Continuum newsletter

Avoiding colds and flu this season is at the top of everyone’s list. Here are 14 tips to help you keep healthy and happy as compiled by medical experts who want to keep you out of their offices and safe at home and work.

1. Wash your hands often, including every time you shake someone’s hand.
2. Do not touch your nose and eyes.
3. Feeling bad? Go to bed and get some sleep.
4. Get a flu shot (you may need two this year with H1N1 widespread).
5. Eat fresh fruits and vegetables.
6. Exercise to enhance immune function.
7. Stay away from sneezers, coughers and sick people.
8. Use alcohol-based hand wipes often.
9. Stop smoking if you have not already done so.
10. Avoid ‘double dipping’ with chips or watch out for those who may be dipping double.
11. Use a purse that can be wiped down, like leather or vinyl.
12. No nail-biting.
13. Get happy!
14. Sneeze into the crook of your arm and not your hands.

To read why these 14 tips work, and get some tips on what to do if you are already sick, click here.