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Home Care for the Elderly During Flu Season

Caring for Elderly - Flu SeasonThis time of the year, it is particularly important for older adults to get the flu vaccine.  

It is the most powerful and effective tool to evade the flu.

Each year, a new flu vaccine is created to protect against new viruses. The vaccine is easy to come by and should be sought out every year.  Getting a seasonal flu shot may reduce hospitalization by about 70% and death by about 85% among older adults who do not live in nursing homes, according to the National Institute on Aging. 

The flu season can begin as early as September and may last until as late as May. It's recommended that people get a flu shot early in the season so the body has a chance to build up immunity to the flu virus. It takes about two weeks for the flu shot to offer protection. Still, if you miss the early flu shots, getting a flu shot later still helps.

The flu, (short for influenza), is a respiratory virus that is easily transmittable through coughing, sneezing, singing or even talking.

Common flu symptoms include:

• Headache
• Fever
• Cough
• Fatigue ( may last 2-3 weeks)
• Chest discomfort
• Sore throat
• Runny or stuffy nose
• Body aches

Flu symptoms tend to subside in a few days if one stays properly hydrated and gets enough rest. However, in some cases, it may cause a serious situation. Older adults are particularly vulnerable. The virus might complicate an existing chronic condition (such as lung or heart disease). It may also result in high fever and pneumonia. At times, hospitalization may be required.

Perhaps you have heard that older adults and people with chronic diseases are the folks who are at the greatest risk of problems associated with seasonal flu. According to WebMD, individuals older than age 84 have the highest risk of dying from seasonal flu complications; those older than age 74 face the second highest risk of flu complications. Children age 4 and younger have the third highest risk of problems with seasonal flu. (1)

Complications of flu in seniors may include:
• pneumonia
• dehydration
• worsening of chronic medical conditions, including lung conditions such as asthma and emphysema and heart disease

It's important to seek medical care immediately if you notice any of these flu complications. The sooner medical treatment is begun, the faster it can work to treat the more serious symptoms.

Other recommendations for treating flu symptoms in older adults:
• Get plenty of rest.

• Drink plenty of liquids.

• Ask the doctor or pharmacist before buying a new over-the-counter cold or flu medicine to make sure it won't interfere with prescription drugs or complicate existing medical conditions

At Ezra Home Care our mission is to provide the best Home Health Care services that you and your family can rely on and trust. We understand that each situation is unique.

For additional information please contact us at 617-527-9000 or info@ezrahomecare.com


1) WebMD

2) Hebrew Senior Life

3) Care.com

Founded in 2008, Ezra Home Care offers live-in home care, 24-hour care, and hourly senior care.
All our caregivers are state-certified and provide services like personal carehousekeepingcompanionship, help with medication, and transportation assistance. We've spent 15 years refining our caregiver selection process to ensure families' peace of mind. Reach out for details and quotes.

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or call us at 617-527-9000

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