It’s Flu Season! Are You Ready?

October 14, 2013

A seasonal flu shot is the key to a three-pronged approach to preventing flu among senior adults and their caregivers.  Although they may be members of one of the largest groups that can have serious side effects from the flu, seniors can take a few simple precautions to help avoid flu exposure this season.

Flu Shot

It’s flu season! Get your flu shot early!   Photo credit: Indiana Public Media)

Family caregivers and their loved ones can minimize their risks of contracting the flu by preparing early and following a few common-sense approaches to preventing flu and other common winter ailments.

Flu Prevention Tips

1.  Get Your Flu Shot

More than 75 percent of flu-related deaths and more than 50 percent of flu-related hospitalizations occur in populations over the age of 65.  A flu vaccination is the key prevention among senior adults and the earlier in the season the more effective the vaccine becomes.

2.  Take everyday precautions against the flu

In addition to an annual flu vaccine, basic precautions such as frequent hand washings, keeping your hands away from your face, and avoiding close contact with those who may be sick are key to staying germ free this season.  Also, practicing good health habits such as plenty of sleep and exercise, managing stress, and eating healthy foods and fluids is important to flu prevention.

3.  Ask your doctor about antiviral drugs

If you think you may have been exposed to the flu or you are experiencing early symptoms, consult your health care provider about the benefits of antiviral medications and their ability to minimize flu symptoms and risks.

For more information about flu prevention and treatment, please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or www.flu.gov.

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