Page 3 - Senior Times South Central Michigan November 2020 - 27-11
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Senior Times - November 2020 Page 3
 ALTERNATIVE PREVENTION TIPS FOR COLD AND FLU
By: Sherii Sherban, Publisher
  Seniors and caregivers are vulnerable to the flu. Cold and flu season is upon us again. And this year, we have COVID-19 (coronavirus) to think about as well.
with sanitizing wipes or rubbing alcohol – being careful not to wet the electronics.
 Unfortunately, seniors and caregivers are usually two of the most likely groups of people to get sick. Older adults have weaker immune systems and so do most caregivers (due to lack of sleep and chronic stress). And if you spend a lot of time together, you’re more likely to pass germs back and forth.
Stay away from people who are sick. It seems obvious, but keep your distance from peo- ple who are sick. If you must be around a sick person, limit your contact and avoid unneces- sary touching like shaking hands or hugging. A person with flu may be contagious up to five or more days after symptoms appear.
 There’s a lot that you can do to reduce the chances that you or your older adult will get sick and to reduce the length or severity of
a cold or flu. Basically, the goal is to boost the immune system and reduce exposure to germs.
Avoid crowds and unnecessary travel. Try to avoid being in large groups of people, espe- cially in poorly ventilated spaces. That increases the chance of catching a cold or flu from an infected person. If you must, wear your mask.
 Get the flu vaccine and reduce your risk
of getting the flu. You may be surprised to read that it also reduces the severity of the illness and protects against complications – both especially important for seniors. Better yet, if don’t get sick, you will not share it with others. As we mentioned last month, get the vaccine sooner than later.
Avoid touching the eyes, nose, and mouth.
Get added Vitamin C and protein through nutritious foods. Some studies have shown that a little extra Vitamin C can reduce the risk of getting sick. But first, check with the doctor to be sure that a supplement would be safe for your older adult. They may prefer them to receive through food sources.
Wash or sanitize hands thoroughly and often. It is effective against cold, flu, and COVID. Regular soap is fine but be sure to rub hands together for at least 20 seconds. Singing the alphabet song through to the end will get you there. Make sure to clean under the nails, backs of hands, between fingers, and wrists. Hand sanitizer is important as well but should have
That means using disinfectant when cleaning, especially in the bathroom and kitchen. Pay special attention to germ hot spots like door- knobs, light switches, and kitchen and bathroom counters.
Despite the best efforts, people can still get sick with the flu. The article on page 6 address- es what symptoms to look for and when to call your healthcare provider. To increase your com- fort during your recovery consider sleeping at a 45o angle, use a humidifier, drink chicken soup and lots of other clear liquids, and follow your doctor’s instructions.
at least 60% alcohol to kill cold and flu germs. This may be a good option for older adults who can’t easily get up to wash their hands.
Don’t forget to disinfect cleaning sponges and rags (a breeding ground for germs) by changing them frequently, soaking in bleach, microwaving for 1-2 minutes, or running through the dish- washer.
Note: The focus here is on cold and flu pre- vention tips. To reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19, follow CDC guidelines – wear a face mask, wash your hands, and keep at least six feet from other people. Additionally, boosting your immune system will support your efforts against COVID-19.
Exercise, no really, exercise. Moderate exer- cise boosts the immune system and could reduce risk of a cold by more than 30%. You can exer- cise and enjoy movement from a seated position,
In an outside workplace, wash your hands after touching communal office spaces and regu- larly disinfect your own work area.
participate with a video, walk around the block, or even benefit from daily household tasks. Any amount of regular exercise will benefit the body and immune system.
Drink plenty of liquids. Stay hydrated with plenty of liquids to help the body fight off germs better.
We often touch our faces without thinking, or even while thinking, which is a common way for cold and flu germs to enter the body. To reduce the risk of getting sick, minimize touching of the face.
Not getting enough protein can also lower the immune response. Work with your healthcare provider to decide what source is best for you.
Clean the environment to eliminate germs.
Sanitize your mobile devices. It is dirty and germ-filled, including everything you might house in the pocket cover. Clean it regularly
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