The Center for Disease Control (CDC)
and other health officials are cautioning that ’13 is already showing
signs of being an unlucky number for flu. In fact, flu season has
started ahead of schedule this year, which is earlier than it’s been in
ten years, according to the CDC.
Hospitals are overcrowded, lines
are long for voccines, and several deaths have already resulted. And the
season hasn’t even peaked yet. The website Flu Near You documents
instances of the flu by region. As you can see, there’s been a dramatic
spike in documented flu cases in Arizona in just the last week. Because
seniors are particularly vulnerable, at Home Instead Senior Care serving the Southeast Valley,
we strongly urge both seniors and those that come in regular contact
with them to make sure they take the proper precautions to safeguard
against flu and ensure an easier recovery if they do get it.
and foremost, seniors and their caregivers and family members should
have a flu vaccine. The effectiveness of a vaccine depends on the strain
of flu going around as well as the person getting the vaccination, but
the CDC strongly encourages vaccination as a matter of course for good
personal and public health. Most places offer a higher dose flu shot
designed specifically for people 65 and over, but you should check with
your doctor about which one is right for you. One flu vaccine every flu
season is covered by Medicare so let this be your shot in the arm to go
get one if you haven’t already.
Over-the-counter medications will
help reduce symptoms, but they won’t make you less contagious. Since
seniors are at high risk for flu-related complications, they should
contact their health care provider immediately if they begin to show
symptoms of flu. A health care provider may prescribe antiviral
medications (like Tamiflu) to help make symptoms less severe and speed
In addition to antiviral medications, flu.gov provides a non-pharmaceutical RX to help seniors with flu symptoms feel better:
• Get plenty of rest
• Drink clear fluids like water, broth, sports drinks, or electrolyte beverages to prevent becoming dehydrated
• Place a cool, damp washcloth on your forehead, arms, and legs to reduce discomfort associated with a fever
• Put a humidifier in your room to make breathing easier
• Gargle salt water (1:1 ratio warm water to salt) to soothe a sore throat
• Cover up with a warm blanket to calm chills
At Home Instead Senior Care,
we take every precaution to help ensure the health and safety of our
clients. If you would like to learn more about caring for a senior,
please contact us at 480-827-4343 or Like our Facebook page.
Home Instead offers free monthly newsletters with tips and advice for caregivers of elderly loved ones.
Each Home Instead Senior Care franchise is independently owned and operated.