Let’s admit it, we are all getting older these days. I wish I could say I was 18 again, but alas it isn’t so. Currently I am helping my father in law, who is in his late 80’s, with care giving. My own father and stepmom are both over 75. It is really hard to see those you love decline in health. I want to be pro-active and find out the best way to care for the elderly during flu season.
According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control) the number of people in the USA who get the flu is rising each year:The number of people who get the flu has risen significantly over the last 8 years. The CDC estimates that influenza has resulted in:
between 9.3 million – 49.0 million illnesses
between 140,000 – 960,000 hospitalizations
between 12,000 – 79,000 deaths annually since 2010
So from 2010 until 2018:
28,000,000 MORE Influenza (FLU) cases reported
820,000 more people have been hospitalized for the flu
67,000 more people have died from the flu
This is significant.
I’m not sure about you, but I want to be sure to protect myself, my family, and those I care for from the flu this year. Truthfully, I have never had a flu shot. This year, that’s about to change. I don’t want to expose my family or friends to the flu. What if we are just a carrier? No thanks, it’s not worth sending my elderly loved ones to the Hospital.
Getting the flu is even worse for our Elderly population over 65. As we age our immune systems slow down too. The Elderly have a much harder time fighting the flu, and often end up hospitalized. They are also at increased risk for flu complications.Here are the statistics from the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases:10 Best Ways to Care for the Elderly in Flu Season
Get your Flu Shot – Getting your annual flu shot will lower the number of days you may have the flu and it will decrease your chances of ending up in the Hospital.
Wash your Hands – Washing your hands with warm water for 20 seconds will help prevent the virus from spreading.
Avoid touching mouth, eyes, and nose – The flu is a respiratory illness. It spreads in the mucous droplets when we cough. It is highly contagious. That’s why often whole families or workplace team members get sick at the same time.
Stay home if you aren’t well – Doctors recommend you stay home when you are not well. Usually you are contagious 1 day before symptoms appear. You remain contagious for 5-7 days after you start feeling symptoms.
Clean doorknobs, bathtubs, and common areas with disinfectant – The flu virus can be stopped by disinfecting your home. There are many antibacterial products and wipes that make this an easy task.
Boost your Immune System with good eating habits – The elderly have an immune system that may be compromised by age. By eating foods high in vitamins and minerals you can give your immune system the extra boost it needs.
Quit Smoking – Recently study by Yale University published in Science Daily has shown us that smokers have a more difficult time with the flu because their immune system overreacts to the flu virus.
Reduce Stress – Stress can affect our bodies and bring fatigue, anxiety, and cause our immune systems to burn out.
Exercise – Exercise has been shown to be the best answer for depression. Exercise also boosts your immune system and helps your body fight viruses and bacteria.
Avoid crowded places where germs are trapped – We often have no control over the ventilation systems of where we work or go to school. Flu viruses can enter the ventilation systems from a simple cough. Have you noticed how a whole classroom or a group of coworkers all get the flu at the same time? It may be time to clean the vents and put in new air filters throughout the building.
In closing, let’s protect ourselves and our loved ones this flu season. By using these techniques you can reduce your chances of getting the flu, and reduce the amount of time it stays.
Thank you to CureClick for sponsoring this post. All opinions are 100% my own. CureClick is committed to supporting patients, caregivers, patient advocates and life science companies through education about health, science and clinical trials
The more I realize my parents knew a thing or two.
The more I learn and the less I know.
The more forgiving I am to myself and others. We’re all a little broken in places.
The more I learn to love God and others.
The more I can laugh at life. After all we made it through some pretty heavy stuff right?
Quotes on getting older
“At age 20, we worry about what others think of us. At age 40, we don’t care what they think of us. At age 60, we discover they haven’t been thinking of us at all.” Ann Landers
“You’ll learn as you get older, that rules are made to be broken. Be bold enough to live life on your terms, and never, ever apologize for it. Go against the grain, refuse to conform, take the road less traveled instead of the well-beaten path. Laugh in the face of adversity, and leap before you look. Dance as though EVERYBODY is watching. March to the beat of your own drummer. And stubbornly refuse to fit in.” – Mandy Hale
“You can live to be a hundred if you give up all the things that make you want to live to be a hundred.” Woody Allen
“By the time you’re eighty years old you’ve learned everything. You only have to remember it.” George Burns
“Listen to me, descendants of Jacob,
all you who remain in Israel.
I have cared for you since you were born.
Yes, I carried you before you were born.
I will be your God throughout your lifetime—
until your hair is white with age.
I made you, and I will care for you.
I will carry you along and save you. (Isaiah 46:3-4 NLT)
Even in old age they will still produce fruit;
they will remain vital and green. (Psalm 92:14 NLT)
Gray hair is a crown of glory;
it is gained by living a godly life. (Proverbs 16:31 NLT)
Wisdom belongs to the aged,
and understanding to the old. (Job 12:12 NLT)
A 92 year-old, petite, well-poised and proud man, who is fully dressed each morning by 8:00 with his hair fashionably combed shaved perfectly, even though he is legally blind, moved to a nursing home today. His wife of 70 years recently passed away, making the move necessary. After many hours of waiting patiently in the lobby of the nursing home, he smiled sweetly when told his room was ready. As he maneuvered his walker to the elevator, I provided a visual description of his tiny room, including the eyelet sheets that had been hung on his window. “I love it” he stated with the enthusiasm of an eight-year-old having just been presented with a new puppy.
“Mr. Jones, you haven’t seen the room; just wait..”
“That doesn’t have anything to do with it,” he replied.
“Happiness is something you decide on ahead of time. Whether I like my room or not doesn’t depend on how the furniture is arranged, it’s how I arrange my mind. I already decided to love it. It’s a decision I make every morning when I wake up. I have a choice; I can spend the day in bed recounting the difficulty I have with the parts of my body that no longer work, or get out of bed and be thankful for the ones that do. Each day is a gift, and as long as my eyes open, I’ll focus on the new day and all the happy memories I’ve stored away, just for this time in my life. Old age is like a bank account. You withdraw
from what you’ve put in.”
So, my advice to you would be to deposit a lot of happiness in the bank account of memories!
Thank you for your part in filling my Memory Bank.
I am still depositing.
Remember the five simple rules to be happy:
1. Free your heart from hatred.
2. Free your mind from worries.
3. Live simply.
4. Give more.
5. Expect less.
(And when all else fails, just pray).
Have a nice day, unless you already have other plans.
But God told Samuel, “Looks aren’t everything. Don’t be impressed with his looks and stature. I’ve already eliminated him. God judges persons differently than humans do. Men and women look at the face; God looks into the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7 MSG)