Cold and Flu: Symptoms, Causes & Precautions For Senior Citizens

It’s that time of the year again. The tissue boxes and cough drops are making their appearance. RetireEase Senior Services has issued this article on precautions that senior adults can take to hopefully prevent an oncoming cold or influenza virus.

Having the flu is never a pleasant experience for anyone. The virus is brutal, usually accompanied by exhaustion, an aching body, coughing, and a fever among other symptoms.

For the younger adults, the flu is not quite so serious. It may just mean a few days off from school or work and lots of tissues and chicken noodle soup. But the flu is a much greater threat to senior citizens; ultimately, the virus can be fatal. As the body ages, the immune system becomes weaker, making it harder and harder to bounce right back from an illness. Plus, the flu itself is not always the problem.

The flu can cause other medical issues an older adult might have to become more serious, especially if the senior has diseases or problems dealing with his or her respiratory system. The most effective way to prevent the flu  is to get an annual flu shot. Seniors should consult their doctors about this; senior adults would need to receive the vaccination early enough for it to start working before the flu virus comes into contact with him or her.

The other precautions that can be taken to avoid the flu virus are similar to the ones that can be taken to avoid the common cold as well.

cold and flu in seniors

The common cold is just what it states- it’s common. But, just like influenza, a common cold for a senior citizen can be more threatening than for a younger generation. There are multiple things one can do to minimize the chance of catching a cold. During this season when it seems that everyone is constantly coughing and sneezing, it bodes well to wash your hands often.

Think of the doorknobs, remotes, cell phones, and other items that sick people have touched. It is a little hard to twist a doorknob with your toes, so just wash your hands afterward, since it cannot be helped. This also means limiting the contact between your hands and your eyes/nose/mouth.

Touching an infected doorknob and then touching your face is a sure way to transmit the cold to your body. An obvious answer is to avoid, if possible, people who are infected. If you absolutely have to be near them, just remember to keep washing your hands as much as possible.

Also, remember to drink plenty of water. It’s vital that we drink water to stay healthy, and it’s important to drink even more water during this season so that our bodies can fight off sickness better. A senior also needs to get the appropriate amount of sleep and food to stay healthy.

A body that is busy fighting off a virus needs to be regenerated and taken care of, so sleep and nutrition is essential. Taking vitamins, especially Vitamin C, will also help the body to be in it’s top form to battle a cold.

Remember, influenza and the common cold can become a large threat to senior citizens and precautionary measures should become a priority to keep older adults healthy and feeling well.

***The information to write this article was provided by these articles:

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