As we head into late September, we move closer to the start of flu season. Last year’s flu season was a tough one! Health experts say the flu shot wasn’t as effective as it has been in years past, and the incidences of flu were significantly higher. While having an annual flu shot is still one of the best steps you can take to avoid being bitten by the flu bug, it shouldn’t be the only preventative measure you take.
Here’s a list of 5 more things you can do to protect yourself during flu season.
Shoo the Flu: 5 Prevention Tips for Older Adults
- Good hygiene: Healthy hygiene habits offer another layer of protection. Most notable is washing your hands. Use soap and hot water to scrub your hands well throughout the day, especially when you’ve been out in public. Carry an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with you for times you won’t have access to water.
- Avoid touching: This one covers a lot of ground! While avoiding handshakes and hugs might not make you feel very friendly, it can help keep you safe during flu season. Also, be mindful of how often you touch your face during the day. If you’ve picked up the virus on your hands, you increase your risk of developing the flu if you touch your nose or mouth.
- Eat well: Consuming a well-balanced diet rich in essential vitamins and nutrients helps to pump up your immune system. If you are exposed to the flu, your odds of fighting it off are higher when your immunity is stronger.
- Healthy night’s sleep: When you are worn out and weary, your body has a tough time fending off bugs and viruses. Sleep is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle. Most physicians say adults should shoot for 7 to 9 hours of quality sleep each night.
- Call your doctor: Despite all your prevention efforts, if you feel like you are coming down with a bug, call your doctor’s office right away. There are prescription antiviral drugs your physician can order for you. While the medication might not prevent you from developing the flu, it may help shorten the amount of time you are sick and lessen the severity of your symptoms.
We hope these tips help you stay happy and healthy throughout this year’s flu season!
A Commitment to Senior Health & Wellness
Because we care about the well-being of older adults in our Five Star Senior Living communities and beyond, we dedicated an entire section of our blog to “Health & Wellness.” You’ll find topics ranging from giving up smoking at any age to finding a new physician.