December is National Handwashing Awareness Month and it’s the perfect time to put a spotlight on all the things that can be done to avoid getting the flu. Before people start gathering for the holidays is the best time to make a game plan for avoiding getting the flu. The flu can be deadly for seniors, and seniors who are traveling or having family over for the holidays are more susceptible to illness. Everyone should make it a habit to do these four things to help avoid the flu:
Wash Hands Often
One of the best defenses to have against the flu, and many other illnesses, is washing your hands. People should be washing their hands whenever they are out shopping and touch a shopping cart, or when they shake hands with someone, or after they have spent time around other people. Whether it’s at a doctor’s office, in a store, or at a family gathering, washing hands should be mandatory after any interaction with people. Hand sanitizer is a good backup option if you aren’t in a place where you can wash your hands immediately.
Eat Immune Boosting Foods
A strong immune system will help naturally fight off the flu and any other illnesses that are going around. People of all ages should be eating some grapefruit or other citrus fruits regularly because the vitamin C and other minerals. You should also be eating foods that are rich in Beta Carotene like sweet potatoes, carrots, spinach, tomatoes, and broccoli. If you have a senior loved one who struggles to make healthy meals, they can benefit from a nutritionist through home health care to receive more nutritious meals.
Get Enough Sleep
Getting enough sleep is also an important part of building a strong immune system. Quality sleep is something that a lot of people struggle to get, but it’s essential for good health. If you, your senior parents, your children and other family members are suffering from poor sleep habits, they will be more susceptible to illness and to spreading it at holiday events. Ensure that your senior parent has help from home health care to monitor any medications that may cause sleep disruption and increase their flu risk.
When you are out holiday shopping, or at family parties, or a work gathering, you should be practicing social distancing. Staying at least six feet away from other people is a fantastic way for everyone to avoid catching the flu and other illnesses that are prevalent in the winter. Combining social distancing with frequent handwashing and a healthy lifestyle that includes healthy meals and a lot of sleep will significantly increase the chances that you and your family will be able to avoid getting the flu this year.