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Seniors and Flu Prevention

A senior woman receives her yearly flu shot.

As the leaves change color and the weather cools, we find ourselves in the midst of flu season – the time of year between fall and spring when the influenza virus reaches its peak. During this time of year, it’s especially important for older adults to take precautions against the virus. That’s because seniors have a higher risk of catching the flu and experience worsening symptoms as the virus takes its toll. The flu is a highly contagious respiratory illness. In some cases, it can even be fatal.
The good news? There are several things you can do to prevent catching the flu and spreading the virus to others. Keep reading to learn more about the flu vaccine and tips for flu prevention this season.

Flu Shots for Seniors

There’s no questioning that receiving a flu vaccine every year is the most effective way to protect yourself from catching the virus. Because flu viruses are constantly changing, vaccines may be updated from one season to the next. According to the Centers for Disease Control, seniors who receive flu shots are 57% less likely to be hospitalized due to the virus.

Did you know there’s a flu shot especially recommended for seniors? As we age, our immune systems can become weaker, rendering flu vaccines less effective. There is a high dose flu shot available with higher levels of antigens and antibodies to help you fend off the flu. If you’re interested in this option, ask your doctor for more information.

It takes approximately two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop and provide protection against infection. That’s why it’s best to get vaccinated before flu season begins. If you haven’t gotten yours yet, it’s not too late! Contact your doctor’s office to schedule your vaccination as soon as possible.

10 Everyday Flu Prevention Tips

There are a number of healthy hygiene habits that you can develop and practice each day to protect yourself against the flu. Even following just a few of these suggestions can help you avoid germs and keep yourself healthy.

  1. Get your flu shot – it’s so important, we had to say it again!
  2. Also, encourage your family and friends to get the flu shot.
  3. Wash your hands often with soap and warm water. Aim for at least 20 seconds of hand washing to get rid of germs.
  4. Sanitize everything you touch frequently. This includes your phone, electronics, remote control, keys, steering wheel, etc.
  5. Avoid large crowds as much as possible, especially at airports.
  6. Stay hydrated and increase your vitamin C intake during flu season. Consult your doctor first before adding additional supplements to your diet.
  7. Avoid anyone who has recently been sick or is showing symptoms of illness.
  8. Try your best to keep your hands away from your face and mouth at all times.
  9. Stay active and aim for 30 minutes of exercise a day.
  10. Keep your house free from germs by cleaning frequently.

While these tips are essential to preventing the flu, they are helpful habits to adopt year-round. Germs and viruses are always out there and seniors should try everything they can to avoid getting sick now and during the upcoming flu season.

Healthy, Vibrant Senior Living at Peabody

At Peabody, we make your health and wellness a priority. We understand that embracing senior wellness is a prominent part of celebrating an ageless spirit. We offer several options and amenities for you to maintain a healthy lifestyle, including our Billie Jane Strauss Wellness Center, featuring personal training programs, fitness classes, aqua therapy and the latest cutting-edge equipment for rehab and wellness in a 7,000 square-foot complex.

For more information about healthy senior living options at Peabody, contact us today and schedule a tour of our wellness center and campus.

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