With the Covid-19 pandemic stealing the headlines, it's easy to forget that flu season is around the corner. While many of the precautions people are taking against the coronavirus will also help them avoid catching the flu, there are additional ways to stay healthy during flu season.
1. Get a flu shot. The flu shot is one of the best protections against the flu, which kills tens of thousands of people each year. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends getting your shot before the end of October, but if you wait an extra month or two you will still be protected throughout the rest of the flu season. Research shows that those age 50 and older who receive a flu vaccine reduce their risk of hospitalization by almost 60%. Ask your doctor about vaccines that have been developed specifically for seniors age 65 and older. To find a location where you can get vaccinated, visit vaccinefinder.org. It's important to remind your family and friends to get their flu shot, too!
2. Stay current on all of your vaccinations. In addition to the flu vaccine, it's important for seniors to receive all vaccinations that are recommended for people over age 65. These include vaccines that protect against pneumonia, meningitis, and other infections of the bloodstream that can arise as complications from the flu, which can have very serious consequences for seniors.
3. Continue practicing healthy habits. Cover your mouth when coughing, wash your hands frequently with soap and water, avoid touching your mouth, eyes, and nose whenever possible, and avoid contact with people who are ill. Get plenty of sleep, manage your stress, and stay physically active. Drink a lot of water and eat foods high in vitamins and minerals.
If you suspect you may have the flu, see your doctor as quickly as possible; if caught early, antiviral medication may help lessen your symptoms dramatically.
Clarendale of Algonquin
2001 W. Algonquin Rd.
Algonquin, IL 60102