Your 2019 Flu and Cold Checklist
As temperatures drop and the risk for developing a terrible cold heightens, it’s only right that we help you prep yourself and your loved one to treat a bad cold, but also how to prevent it from getting worse. Here’s a helpful list of tips and things you should stock up on to prep and protect yourselves!
1) Be mindful of indoor temperature
Extreme changes in body temperature can lead to hypothermia in seniors, which is very common in the winter months. First off, be sure to check if their heat is working and that its at a temperature, ideally at 68 degrees. If they’re suffering from a cold or the flu, be sure to be hyper-aware of their comfort level during this time. Make sure they wear layers indoors and check in on them in case they don’t vocalize that they are uncomfortable with the current temperature.
2) Lotion-infused tissues
The one thing you’ll definitely need when treating a common cold or flu is a pack of tissues. That’s a no-brainer. But, remember that the skin on your nose can be very sensitive, which will lead to dryness, cracking and even infection due to runny or stuffy nose symptoms. If you’re constantly using tissues it can get even worse, so one of the best products we’d recommend are lotion-infused tissues, like these from Puffs! Some of their products are even infused with Vicks scent for a cooling and therapeutic sensation.
3) Get the flu shot
Getting the flu shot is one of the smartest things you can do if you work and interact with seniors every day. Of course, recommending that your client or loved one gets the flu shot is super important as well, and did you know that there are two vaccines that were developed for adults 65 and older? Talk to your doctor and client’s doctors to see what they’d recommend depending on their existing health condition and which vaccine to get!
4) Use plenty of germ-killers and hand sanitizer
Because cold and flu season falls within the fall and winter months, one of the most common myths is that this alone leads to colds and flus. Colds and flus are caused by highly infectious viruses that spread from person to person, as well as through bacteria! Keeping hand sanitizers on hand as well as disinfecting wet wipes whenever you go out with your client is super important, especially when helping them out in public restrooms.
5) Natural immune boosters
In addition to taking vitamins and supplements that can boost your immunity, such as multivitamins, Vitamin C, Vitamin B6 and Vitamin E, be sure to eat and drink foods that are high in these vitamins and nutrients like leafy greens, and a colorful variety of fruits and vegetables as well as nuts and seeds rich in Omega-3’s and amino acids. The less you have to rely on synthetic vitamins and supplements the better! Also, be sure to avoid alcohol, too much caffeine, and always set aside some much-deserved “me time” as a busy caregiver.