Oct 31st, 2011 | By | Category: Lifestyle, Health & Fitness

Practical Suggestions to Avoid the Flu

Every year in the last three months, seniors are reminded to get our flu shots and to do what we can to avoid contracting the viruses that cause influenza.  Because of age and increasing physical vulnerability, senior citizens are more at risk for problems developing if we get the flu, problems like pneumonia and muscle weakness that overcomes us when we lie in bed for days at a time; that weakness contributes to increasing risk of falling and breaking bones.

So here are some suggestions SCJ editors gleaned from several Internet websites that talked about the flu in the past several weeks:

  • Get your flu vaccination.  This is the most important step you can take to avoid getting the flu.
  • Wash your hands several times a day, especially after you have been in social situations where others have been touching the same things you touch (door knobs, Bingo cards, eating utensils & table ware, shaking hands or hugging, etc).
  • Carry an alcohol-based sanitizer with you in your pocket or purse to use when washing your hands isn’t possible.
  • If you can get away with it, avoid hugging and touching people during flu season; a simple explanation that says, “I’m trying to avoid flu germs,” is all you need to do to explain.  Avoid touching your eyes, nose, mouth with your hands; this is how most flu viruses get into one’s body.
  • Use a household disinfectant (spray or wipes) to clean doorknobs, TV remote controls, computer keyboards, counter tops and any surface that people touch routinely.
  • If you know someone is ill, avoid being in their presence until they are well.  Express your compassion and concern with a card or telephone call instead of a personal visit.
  • Teach yourself to cough and sneeze into the bended crook of your arm – not your hands, unless you have a tissue to catch the spray.
  • If you get sick, stay home (except for medical visits and ‘necessary’ trips outside your home).  When your fever has disappeared for 24 hours, it’s probably safe for you to venture out.

So, Seniors, get your flu shot, carry tissues and a hand sanitizer around with you, change some habits until flu season is over.


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