How Can You Protect Yourself When Caring for a Senior with the Flu?

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Senior Care in Leesburg VA

Senior Care in Leesburg VACold and flu season can be a scary time for a family caregiver. You are worried about your loved ones staying healthy while also trying to maintain your own health and well-being as well. Older adults have less effective immune systems than younger adults, meaning they are more vulnerable to illness and infection than younger people and are less capable of fighting off these concerns should they develop. This also means that your parent is more likely to develop serious complications of the flu, which can put their life at risk. While there are many things that you can do to help your parent cope with the symptoms of the flu if your parent develops it, the best way that you can prevent your parent from experiencing potentially dangerous complications is to prevent them from developing the flu in the first place. This is not just about keeping them healthy, but keeping yourself healthy as well. When you guard yourself, you prevent yourself from catching germs that you could later spread to your parent or to your children and then back to your parent.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, some of the most effective ways that you can protect yourself while caring for a senior with the flu are:

• Limit exposure. Do your best to avoid close contact with people who are sick, who have been sick, or who have been close to others who have been sick. Remember that a person can be contagious for a full day before they start showing symptoms and can continue to show symptoms for a week after they develop symptoms.

• Cover up. Do your parent to stop the spread of germs by covering up your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze. This will help to keep the respiratory droplets that contain the germs from spreading into the air or onto surfaces that can infect others. Cover with a tissue or with your arm rather than with a bare hand.

• Wash hands. The fastest and easiest, and yet one of the most effective, means of preventing the spread of germs is to wash your hands regularly. Handwashing is the first line defense in keeping your germs from spreading, and from contracting illness or infection from germs that you have picked up throughout the course of your day. Plain water and soap is just as effective as antibacterial soap, and if you do not have access to soap and running water but feel that you need to clean your hands, use hand sanitizing gel.

• Take care of your body. A run-down body is much more susceptible to illness and infection than one that is naturally strong and healthy. Take basic steps to help prevent your body from getting run down, such as getting enough rest, eating a healthy diet, and managing your stress levels.

Elderly care can be a fantastic choice when you are looking for ways to reduce the chances that your aging loved one will suffer from an illness or infection. An elderly home care services provider can be an ally in your germ control efforts as well as other methods for strengthening your aging parent, improving their resistance, and taking other steps to keep them as healthy as possible as they age in place. These personalized services can give you confidence that even if you are not able to be with your parent to give them the care that they need, or you are feeling ill, that your loved one will still be in the best hands.


If you or an aging loved one are considering senior care in Leesburg, VA please contact the caring staff at Assisting Hands today. (703) 982-0050.