5 Tips to Fight Colds

February 16, 2017

With the beautiful snow and many fun winter holidays often comes the increased potential for seniors to get a cold or the flu. While younger people might battle these illnesses, even going to work and school, seniors are often hit harder and have to rest and get better as soon as possible. If you’re feeling the sniffles or are wracked with chills, here are some tips that might help you feel better and prevent yourself from getting sick again:

Get Good Sleep

The Mayo Clinic shared that people not getting adequate rest can have compromised immune systems. That means getting your required hours of sleep at night isn’t just a way to keep you happy—your Zs can improve your health and prevent you from catching the cold that’s going around.


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Wash Your Hands Often

As simple as it seems, hand washing is a crucial way to avoid contracting and spreading communicable diseases. Public places frequently touched, such as door handles and railings, can harbor germs for hours, so ensure you always wash your hands when you enter your home and before you eat. Try to keep your fingers and hands away from your face when you’re outside of your home, as these body parts are often the places that transfer cold-causing germs to your system. When you have a cold, wash your hands frequently in hot water with soap to prevent the germs that can spread when you blow your nose or cough.

doctor, shot, flu shot, immunizationAsk your doctor if you should get an annual flu shot.


Consider Getting a Flu Shot

Almost every pharmacy offers on-site flu shots, and some senior living communities have in-house medical staff that can provide immunizations as necessary. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that seniors and babies get the flu shot as these two populations are most susceptible to the sickness. The organization noted that between 54 and 70 percent of seasonal flu-related hospitalizations occur among individuals who are 65 years old and up. As the seasons change, flu viruses are updated to fight better the particular strain of the illness that is popular, so talk with your doctor to learn if you should get a yearly flu vaccination.

Avoid Being Around People Who Are Sick

Let’s say your daughter wants to bring her family to visit. On a typical day, this would be a welcome event! However, if your grandson has a bad cold, try rescheduling your hangout for when he’s feeling better. This way, you avoid exposing yourself to the germs of whatever illness your grandson is fighting. It’s not necessary to become a germaphobe and stay home all winter – plus, that sounds boring – but when you can take steps to mitigate your risk, it’s a good idea to do so. You could even video conference with your family instead of having them over. That way, you can still chat about the upcoming school formal and how your grandkids are doing in their classes.

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