The arrival of winter brings with it plenty of reasons to celebrate: Holidays, good food and time with friends and family are at the top of the list. However, this time of year also marks an increase in flu cases. According to the CDC, people 65 and older experience a 54 to 70 percent chance of flu-related hospitalization compared to other age groups. To protect yourself this winter, Choice Health Management offers these important preventive guidelines.
- Practice Healthy Hygiene
Although we have been taught since childhood the importance of good health habits, these become particularly important during flu season. Make sure to clean your hands often to protect from germs. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub. Make sure to clean and disinfect frequently touched areas in your home and avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Avoid close contact with people who are sick, and make sure to eat healthy, get regular exercise and plenty of sleep.
- Avoid Stress
Chronic stress not only can disrupt your sleeping habits, it can actually lower your immune system. Stress produces ample levels of cortisol, the primary stress hormone, which can alter your immune system responses. Although the body’s stress-response system is usually self-limiting, chronic stress can active it long-term, disrupting your body’s processes. By lessening stress, you can help your body ward off potential illness.
- Seek Medical Advice Quickly
During flu season, being cautious can make a difference. If you experience fever, chills, muscle aches, cough, congestion, runny nose, headaches, or fatigues, they may be signs of influenza. In this circumstance, it is best to consult a doctor immediately to ensure that you can get treated early.
- Don’t Wait to Get Your Flu Shot
Since adults age 65 years or older are at a high risk for complications from the flu, the most effective measure you can take to prevent influenza is to get a flu shot each year. According to the CDC, the shot reduces the risk of the flu by 57% for adults age 50 and older. Flu shots are often updated each season to keep up with changing viruses so it is recommended to get vaccinated each year.
Preparing for flu season is a crucial step in ensuring your year-round health. By taking these important precautions, you can maintain your continued quality of life. At Choice Health Management, our residents well-being is our first priority. Contact our pharmacy services to find out how we can help you.