Flu season can be the worst – trying to do our best to balance every day tasks and keep going especially during the holidays can be tough. As we age, the flu is the last thing we want to get. For instance, the elderly, don’t have the same energy or immune systems they once had that would help bounce back from ailments in a quicker period of time. If your aging parents have gotten the flu recently, then you understand the big undertaking one took to restore them back to health.
When the flu season does hit home, it is difficult for families to care for loved ones, as everyone is often busy and the flu requires a bit of effort and time. In order to put our best efforts forward, we compiled a few tips to help you and your family be prepared this flu season.
Prevention is the most important step of these all. What is more effective than not having to deal with the flu at all? Over the years, lots of ways have been suggested by doctors and nutritionists in order to keep the population safe and well. What are they about, then?
Keep Them Warm
Winter equals cold- this is the main reason people get ill. The first way to prevent your parents from getting the flu, then, is to make sure their house is warm enough. Keep the blinds closed in order to maintain some heat inside, place some blankets around in order to use them as soon as they are needed, especially at night, and make sure the indoor temperature is never too cold- 70 degrees Fahrenheit would be perfect. Clothing helps too- provide your parents with wool items, especially warm hats- their head can get cold too!
Make Sure They Have Enough Nutrients
This tip may sound useless, but how much do you know about nutrients and what is ideal to eat during cold season? Choose those foods that are warm and easy to prepare. Soups are perfect, but don’t forget vegetables and meat for a healthy diet that makes the body stronger. Add some tea to drink once a day for the most effective results- your parents will keep warm and have what they need to fight bacteria. Don’t forget Vitamin C- it is the most effective to fight any kind of flu and cold!
Find Someone to Help
Chores are very difficult to do for an older person- it gets worse when it is winter. They can become exhausting and overwhelming. If you can’t find time yourself, try to find someone who could lift your parents the weight of doing chores and other daily tasks that have become too difficult for them. With a quick internet search, you will be able to find caretakers around your community that will help your parents and reduce the stress of errands.
Check Their Daily Water Intake
Drinking enough water is fundamental in order to stay healthy. What some people may not know, though, is because winter is drying, we actually need to step up our daily water intake game. Drinking other fluids like tea and juices is good as well- just remember to do it, and remind your parents to do the same.
Get Informed About a Flu Shot
The most obvious way to prevent the flu is getting a flu shot. There are many specifically out there for your elderly parents, so researching and being informed about different types of flu shots would better ensure the most effective results. Flu shots are usually low cost, especially in some local pharmacies- you directly walk in there, and it requires little time and effort. Talk to your doctor in order to know if your parent is eligible, and keep in mind the possible side-effects there could be.
The flu spreads because many people don’t follow the basic hygiene rules in public places. Take some measures in order to keep your parents protected when they go outside- buy some hand sanitizer gel to bring around, and make sure everything they use is clean, if they can’t wash it themselves. Also, insure that their living space is cleaned weekly. Don’t forget door knobs!
Stock Up on Medicines at Home
Of course, be prepared! Buy in advance antiviral drugs that can be used in case of emergency (paracetamol or ibuprofen, for instance).
Learn to Notice the Symptoms
What does the flu feel like? Sore throat, stomach pain, chills are obvious symptoms, but don’t forget feeling tired, dizzy and nausea are not to be undervalued.
Communicate With Them Regularly
Of course, the best tip is to communicate with your parents regularly, in order to know what they may need. Listen to how they feel, both physically and psychologically.