Caregiver Challenges: Taking Care of a Senior with the Flu

Caregiver in Richmond Hill

“The flu” is a blanket term given to infections caused by the influenza virus and can be an extremely unpleasant, and extremely dangerous, experience. Though this sickness strikes people of all Caregiver-Richmond-Hillages and health conditions each year, the elderly are particularly at risk. A large percentage of the more than 36,000 people who die from flu infections each year are over the age of 65. This is due to the fact that elderly adults are both more vulnerable to contracting infections and less capable of fighting them off, putting them at increased risk of developing further infections and illnesses while recovering from the flu. One such risk in particular is pneumonia.

Knowing how to prevent the flu and how to manage it if it does occur should be an essential part of your fall caregiver efforts. This helps you to be prepared for the risk so that you can try to avoid the infection, but also to care for your parents effectively in the event that they do contract the flu.


Use these tips to help prevent your parents from contracting the flu:

• Avoid contact. A person can be contagious 24 hours before even showing any signs of the illness, and for up to five days after the symptoms arise. Avoid contact with anyone who has been feeling ill or has been caring for someone who has been ill.

• Wash hands. Handwashing is your front line of defense against spreading of germs. Make sure that you, your aging loved ones, and any care providers wash your hands frequently throughout the day using hot water and soap to remove germs. Avoid frequent use of antibacterial soaps as these can actual lessen your resistance to illness and damage your skin.

• Clean the home. Keep the home clean and regularly disinfect surfaces to remove germs that could get there through contact with people who do not know they are sick.


Should your seniors develop the flu, use these methods to make their recovery period as effective as possible:

• Visit the doctor. The first thing you should do if you suspect your elderly loved one may have the flu is to visit the doctor for a proper diagnosis. Be sure to make notes of all treatment guidelines and recommendations so that you can follow them exactly throughout the recovery period.

• Fluids. Drinking plenty of fluids is vital to enabling the body to fight off infection. Encourage water, broth, and electrolyte-replacement beverages throughout the day to keep your parents well hydrated.

• Rest. Giving the body plenty of rest ensures it can fight as hard as possible to get rid of the infection. Make sure that your parents rest and get plenty of sleep throughout their recovery period, and then when they are better, reintroduce activity gradually to prevent overtaxing their bodies and possibly making them more vulnerable to further infections.


If you or an aging loved one are considering caregiver services in Richmond Hill, contact the caring professionals at Staff Relief Health Care 24/7 at 905.709.1767.

About Susan Di Michele

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