The Flu season is upon us. As a geriatric nurse, every year I see and care for people who become very ill, even die from the seasonal flu. A lot of times we – (including us as caregivers,) ignore the media and mail notifications from our physicians’ offices about flu shots being available for our seniors and those individuals with certain chronic medical conditions.
Seasonal Flu Shots
This year we have become more aware of the H1N1 flu or known as the Swine Flu. That is different from the usual seasonal influenza. We need two different shots to protect from each strain.
People age 50 and older have long been a top priority for seasonal-flu vaccination, with those 65 and older especially at risk. “We really want people 65 and older to know how important this [seasonal] influenza vaccine is,” Anne Schuchat, M.D., director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said in a recent press briefing. “As soon as it is available, it’s a good thing to get.”
Local pharmacies are giving flu shots for a minimal cost. Some District Health Centers are offering free flu shots for those who qualify. We don’t have to live in fear; we can do some simple things in addition to receiving flu shots to help prevent ourselves and others from getting the flu.
Simple Steps to Stop Spreading Germs
- Keep your hands clean; wash them often with warm soapy water while reciting the alphabet or singing the “Happy Birthday Song” slowly.
- Keep hand sanitizer available in your house, car, purse, etc. Use it in addition to washing hands and when soap and water is not available.
- Cover your mouth and nose with tissue or inside of elbow when coughing or sneezing.
- Always wash hands prior to eating.
- When returning home, wash your hands immediately.
- Keep phones, computers, door knobs, steering wheels clean and disinfected.
- Limit exposure to crowded places.
- If you are sick, stay home and get plenty of rest and fluids.
Better Senior Care starts with your FREE Elder Connections Plan Kit.
Eva Comatilo, LPN for Elder Connections.