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Flu Prevention in the Elderly in NY & NJ

Flu Prevention for Seniors living in New York City

Mature senior Caucasian couple having breakfast together.Every year flu season hits, and it can be a horrible time of year for both caregivers, loved ones, and parents. Flu Prevention is important, and Alvita Care supports all NYC  individuals in taking the necessary steps to ensure that those you are in contact with are happy and healthy.

While we require all of our home caregivers to either receive their flu shot or wear a mask, not every individual your loved one comes in contact with may do the same. Flu shots have become extremely important in our society today and are a large initiative taken upon by the health community. Even so, prevention is important, and we want to help provide you with the information you may need to help prevent flu season from affecting you.

Each year over 100,000 people will contract the flu and be hospitalized, and even more, die as a result of inadequate care after coming in contact with flu symptoms. While the elderly suffer the most, those in their seventies or older are at a higher risk due to a decreased immune system. The common flu that occurs seasonally is one of the most contagious illnesses. This happens as drops in someone’s respiratory system spread between individuals from sneezing or coughing. Additionally, if you or your loved one touch something such as a railing, doorknob, or anything else that has the flu virus on it, this can also spread to you unintentionally.

An elderly individual can remain sick and contagious anywhere from one to five days when they have the flu virus in their system. Due to this, many individuals may not believe they are sick or that they are already feeling better and accidentally spread the flu unintentionally. At Alvita Care, we feel it is important to constantly remind our home caregivers to take preventative measures against the flu virus for the safety of our clients and themselves. In a normal year, the flu is most prevalent from October until the end of February, but It can run longer depending on the year and the particular strain of flu common. Common flu prevention and healing methods include drinking fluids, rest, constantly washing one’s hands, or using hand sanitizer. Often over-the-counter or doctor-prescribed medications such as Tamiflu, Nyquil/Dayquil, and Relenza can help with flu systems, but Alvita Care recommends all individuals consult with their doctor before taking such medication.

Common flu symptoms typically include having chills, a fever, sinus congestion, and often individuals will have a headache, sore throat, and a cough. It is not uncommon to feel extremely tired and achy during this time. While not all individuals experience nausea, vomiting, and other stomach problems, it can happen occasionally. Elderly individuals are at a much higher risk when it comes to recovering from the flu. This is because they are more vulnerable and easily susceptible to contracting flu symptoms. In the elderly, the flu can often turn into pneumonia and other diseases, which is often how these viruses become the largest problem. Those with health conditions such as previous congestive heart failure, chronic lung disease, diabetes, or those who may have had renal failure in the past should be specially monitored in these situations. Alvita Care recommends that individuals are monitored closely for signs of dehydration and that they are encouraged to drink plenty of fluids when recovering from the flu.

A few other measures for one to take to avoid contracting flu symptoms would include avoiding crowded places during flu season if you do become sick, avoiding work so as not to spread symptoms to others, and ensuring you and your loved ones are vaccinated early before flu season begins. Practicing good hygiene, as previously mentioned before, is extremely important. Alvita Care encourages you to wash your hands whenever you have been in a crowded area and after touching doorknobs or railings in public areas. Cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze and avoid those who are sick.

Alvita Care is ready to help with anything you may need during the flu season. Our home caregivers provide outstanding at-home care for seniors in NYC, Westchester County,  New Jersey, and Long Island. Whether you or your loved ones need help scheduling a doctor’s appointment or have additional questions in helping to prevent the flu, we are available to answer your questions. Additionally, if you are feeling symptoms of the flu or if your loved one becomes sick, we encourage you to consult your doctor as soon as possible to receive treatment. Please give us a call today at 212-273-0490. We are ready and willing to help you beat flu season this year!