Visiting the Elderly During Flu Season

Caregivers and Families, Health and Wellness

Monday, January 23, 2017 at 10:00:00 am Comments (0)

The flu is one of the most highly contagious illnesses and this disease can be exacerbated by a seniors preexisting chronic health condition. Flu season runs from October thru March and sometimes April. The virus is spread by “respiratory droplets” which are expressed when coughing or sneezing. Therefore, is it important to cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, then immediately wash your hands. The flu virus can live on objects such as door knobs, telephones, or shopping cart handles, then is spread when touching your nose or mouth. When there are many people living together in a group such as in our assisted living communities the virus can spread very quickly from person to person. Hand hygiene is the most important practice to avoid catching and spreading the flu virus in addition to receiving the flu vaccine.
 
It is important to remember that the flu can be contagious and you may not develop symptoms until up to 5 days later. When visiting the elderly during flu season it is imperative to wash your hands prior to visiting and immediately when leaving the residents room. Visitors should only visit with the resident they are at the facility to see and not go from room to room. Visitors should not visit if they have active symptoms of the flu such as chills, fever, body aches, runny nose, coughing and sneezing. The flu can be very serious for our seniors, but with a few precautions they can remain healthy during this flu season.

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