Flu Season – Prevention Tips for Seniors and Caregivers

As we move through October and into November, we are entering the cold and flu season in Ontario. The temperatures drop and the amount of vitamin D we are receiving decreases as our daily sunlight minimizes incrementally. These factors, compounded with the cold and flu season, hinder our body’s natural defenses and compromises our immune system. Seniors are especially vulnerable to the cold and flu season as their immune system becomes weaker with age. As well, those who are caregivers for seniors are affected by their vulnerability to the cold and flu season since they are in close proximity and often inadvertently sharing germs with their elderly loved one. Therefore, it is valuable to take steps to reduce the chances that your household will get sick and boost your immune system to assist in fighting off any cold and flu you may be affected by.

Cold and Flu Prevention Tips

  1. Flu Shot
    Getting the yearly flu vaccine reduces the risk of getting the flu and minimizes the severity of the flu’s symptoms.
  2. Effective Hygiene
    Similar to a major Covid-19 prevention technique, washing and sanitizing your hands thoroughly and often is an effective way of getting rid of unwanted germs. Ensure that you are washing your hands for at least 20 seconds and washing your fingers thoroughly. Using sanitizer is an easy fix when on the go and also for elders who have difficulty washing their hands. As well, in order to keep germs out of your body, make sure to keep your hands away from your face as those are entrances for the germs.
  3. Avoid Unnecessary Crowds
    As per Covid-19 protocols, it is critical to stay at least two meters away from everyone who is not in your social bubble. This is also valuable advice for avoiding the common cold. Try and socialize in well-ventilated areas and do not meet people in poorly ventilated areas without a mask. As well, distancing yourself from people who are sick will reduce your chances of getting sick from them.
  4. Clean Environment
    Cleaning and sanitizing your residence more regularly during the cold and flu season will get rid of lingering germs and reduce your risk. Give special attention to germ hotspots like common touch points.
  5. Healthy Habits
    Having healthy habits can improve your immune system and reduce your chances of getting sick. Eating healthy meals which are high in protein and vitamin C can boost your immune system and help your body fight off cold and flu germs. Exercising regularly can reduce your chances of getting sick by a third. Sleeping 8 hours per night can help your body repair itself and give your body the necessary energy to fight off colds.

It should be noted that we are going into a highly anxious cold and flu season because of the added stress of Covid-19. It is more important than ever to take care of your body by practicing healthy habits and keeping your environment clean. Be sure to take the necessary precautions to keep safe this flu season.

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