When was the last time you had the flu?
The flu is no fun, but fortunately for most people, it isn’t life-threatening, it’s just really annoying.
This changes as we age, however. Our immune systems lose steam and our bodies take longer to fight off common viral infections. The flu is extremely dangerous for the elderly, especially those who live in close quarters with others, like in a nursing home or senior living center.
There are a few things we can all do to help prevent the spread of these diseases. Stay safe this spring with these flu prevention tips.
Cover That Cough
If you’re suffering from a cough, always cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze. According to the CDC, the proper way to cover a cough is by using a tissue to cover your mouth and nose while you cough.
Immediately discard the tissue and use a brand new tissue when you need to cough again. If you can’t find a tissue, cough directly into the upper part of your sleeve. Never cough or sneeze into your hand. Hands are the worst place to spread germs.
Practice Good Hand Hygiene
You may not realize it, but almost everything you do on a daily basis involves using your hands. This makes them the perfect breeding ground for collecting and passing along germs. Hand hygiene is the most effective way to prevent contracting the flu.
Proper hand hygiene starts with hand washing. Here’s the right way to wash your hands:
- Wet hands with warm, clean water.
- Apply soap and rub hands together to work up a good lather.
- Scrub for at least 20 seconds, getting the backs of the hands, between the fingers, and under the nails.
- Rinse hands with clean water and dry them using a clean towel or an air drier.
Always wash your hands after you sneeze or cough, even if you use a tissue. Wash your hands after you use the restroom and after changing dirty diapers. Also, wash hands before you eat anything or prepare food.
Leave Your Face Alone
Germs get into our bodies through our faces, including the eyes, nose, and mouth. Be conscious of how often you touch your face and make an effort to touch your face as little as possible.
If you do need to touch your face, make sure to wash your hands or use a hand sanitizer before you do. This is especially important if you’ve been around someone who is ill.
When In Doubt, Stay Home
If possible, stay home when you believe you’re getting sick. This tip is especially important when it comes to keeping elderly family and friends safe from this dangerous disease. Skip your weekly trip to the nursing home if you have any symptoms of illness or have been around anyone who’s sick.
Follow These Flu Prevention Tips for a Clean Bill of Health!
By following these easy flu prevention tips, you can seriously reduce your risk of contracting and spreading the flu. And that’s what we call a win-win situation!
At St. William’s Living Center, we take flu season seriously. Our facility consistently receives a 5-star rating from Medicare’s Nursing Home Compare program. This rating includes criteria for flu prevention measures.
Call us today if you have any questions about the flu prevention tips we’ve outlined here.