Tuesday Tips for Caregivers ~Preparing for the Flu and Cold

Tuesday Tips for Caregivers ~Preparing for the Flu and Cold

Preparing for the Flu and Cold

We are in the middle of flu season. It typically starts in October and ends in May. As the weather gets cooler, we are susceptible to getting sick. Common diseases, like the flu and cold, are common during this time. These two diseases are both respiratory illnesses, but they are caused by different viruses. Cold symptoms last about a week, and usually begin with a sore throat, then lead to a runny nose and nasal congestion, and ends with a cough. The flu, on the other hand, are more intense and include sore throat, fever, headache, muscle aches, and sometimes vomiting/diarrhea.[1]  On top of that, stress, lack of sleep, and no exercise can make our immune systems weaker, leading to sickness, as well. If you are a family caregiver, you may have experienced all of these situations recently because you are busy with many responsibilities. This is why it is good to be aware of healthy habits, as well as prepare for the worst and get ready for getting sick. In this blog we will go over what to do and expect.

Follow these Tips

Get Good Sleep: Not sleeping enough is a sure way to get sick. When we sleep, our body releases beneficial proteins that respond to infections and stress. Also, lack of sleep reduces antibodies that fight viruses. It is therefore important to sleep to help your body maintain your health. Not only that, sleep can help reduce stress and give you energy to do active things, like exercise. Which are all factors that help your immune system.

Be Prepared: Other than getting good sleep, there are many other ways to prepare. One way is to get a flu shot, which helps prevent the flu. This is really important since the flu can often have very severe symptoms. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that anyone 6 months and older receive an annual flu shot.[2]

Stock Up: You never know when or if you will get sick. So, it is important to prepare for the worst and have medicine on hand. Be prepared with fever reducing medicine, throat lozenges, and tissues. Additionally, you should stock up on easy-to-prepare food, like microwaveable dinners, cans of soup, or pre-packaged meals.[3]

Sick Days: If you work, many companies offer you sick days. Make sure you have sick days reserved in case of emergency. You do not want to end up in a difficult professional situation because you used up all of your sick and vacation time.

Wash Hands and Disinfect: One of the best ways to prevent the spread of viruses is to wash your hands before you eat. Many people touch door handles, money, guard rails, etc. There is no way to tell whether these surfaces are disinfected. Before you come into contact with food that will enter your mouth, wash your hands so you do not ingest viruses. Also, be sure to disinfect surfaces in your home to keep your living environment protected from viruses that can spread to you and members of your family.

We hope that this blog has been helpful and provided you some insights into how to prepare and prevent common diseases like the cold and flu. If you have any questions, please call ElderCare at Home at 888-285-0093 or visit our website.

[1] Source: https://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/flu-cold-symptoms#1

[2] Source: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/qa/misconceptions.htm

[3] Source: https://symptoms.webmd.com/cold-flu-map/get-ready-cold-flu-season

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