Continuing to Stay Safe from the Flu While at Assisted Living

Although just about every topic of illnesses and concerns about colds is focused on Covid 19, that doesn’t mean the flu and other viruses have taken a vacation. In fact, as we head into the winter months, flu season kicks into high gear.

It seems that in July and August and, in some places, November so far, coronavirus cases increase. However, during the winter, the flu has always been a pesky partner during those months. That tends to be the case because in many regions, people have to keep their windows and doors closed, which means the air does not circulate as well as it does in the spring and summer months.

For somebody who is at assisted living or is planning to move to this elder care option in the near future, it remains incumbent upon them and their loved ones to focus on safety and keeping them from being exposed to the flu virus as much as possible.

The best way to limit exposure to flu and cold viruses and symptoms.

Assisted Living Saraland, AL: Seniors and Flu

Doctors highly recommend seniors received the flu shot. While not all flu shots are going to be completely effective, studies do indicate that the standard flu shot helps to reduce the risk of contracting the flu by nearly 50 to 60%. For people 65 and over, it is highly recommended that seniors receive this vital vaccination.

Don’t forget about pneumonia, either.

Pneumonia is also a serious threat to elderly men and women, even those who are receiving elder care at an assisted living community. There are some vaccination shots that can help protect against pneumonia. When it comes to hospitalizations for older Americans, pneumonia accounts for nearly 30 to 40% of all cases. It can be lethal, just as the flu can be.

What other things can seniors do at assisted living to reduce the risk of contracting the flu or pneumonia?

First, they should be encouraged to eat healthy and get regular exercise. This may seem difficult, especially for some seniors who call assisted living home, but it is possible. Even if they need some level of assistance and support, just walking up and down the hallway can elevate the heart rate and keep blood moving throughout the body, helping the immune system fight off various colds and viruses.

Second, they should be encouraged to avoid touching their mouth, nose, and eyes, especially after they have placed their hands on railings, chairs, and other items that are commonly touched by other seniors.

Third, they should avoid interaction and contact with people who are sick. Not everybody knows their sick, but the flu and most other colds are not contagious until the individual exhibits signs of sickness, including fever, running nose, cough, etc.

If a family member or friend wants to visit a senior at an assisted living community and doesn’t feel 100 percent, they should delay that visit until they feel completely better or have been given a clean bill of health by their doctor.

Taking these steps can help seniors continue to stay safe from the flu while enjoying the benefits assisted living offers.

If you or an aging loved one are considering Assisted Living near Saraland, AL, contact Ashbury Manor Specialty Care and Assisted Living at 251-317-3017.

About Cindy Johnson

Ashbury Manor’s Administrator since 2008, Cindy Johnson is a long-time expert in the assisted living field. Prior to her arrival at Ashbury Manor, Cindy managed acquisitions and crisis management for existing and new larger senior care project developments for eleven years. As regional manager for an Oregon-based assisted living management company, Cindy was directly responsible for operations for five 50-65 bed assisted living facilities. As manager during the transition to new ownership, Cindy reorganized internal operations and conducted leadership training for Executive Directors. As a result of her management and expertise, one of the company’s facilities (in Ocala, Florida) received a deficiency-free survey, resulting in the lifting of a moratorium on operation.

A nurse for 36 years, senior care has always been Cindy’s passion. Desiring to work more closely with residents, Cindy became a Category II Administrator in 2005. As Ashbury Manor’s Administrator, Cindy understands the complexities associated with dementia and cognitive impairment and she has fallen in love with seniors with dementia or cognitive impairment and their families.

Cindy is Treasurer of the local “Senior Coalition” chapter. She enjoys mentoring new candidates who want to become administrators.

As a 16-bed facility, with Cindy's training and experience, our residents and their families can be sure Ashbury Manor’s carefully selected staff provides the expertise of a larger facility while maintaining the individualized personal care of a small special needs home.
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