As cold weather approaches, so does flu season, which is a particular concern for the elderly population. Seniors are vulnerable to the effects of flu viruses-which can even prove to be fatal in many instances.
Elderly people have compromised immune systems, so fighting off flu viruses is a real challenge for older adults. But there are some interventions you can take to help protect your loved one with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) this flu season.
Statistically seniors are among the most severely affected by the flu. Ninety percent of flu-related deaths and more than half of flu-related hospitalizations occur in people age 65 and older.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the flu is a highly contagious disease, spread via the respiratory system (typically coughing or sneezing). The flu is reportedly prevented by a flu vaccination. Elderly adults should discuss with the primary physician whether or not a flu shot is recommended-according to the CDC.
October and November are the best months to get a vaccination says the CDC, but benefits can still be had for those getting vaccinated as late as December. The flu season can continue through the month of May, but January is the worst month.
Not everyone should receive a vaccine for the flu, according to the CDC; these are the parameters regarding those who should NOT receive a flu shot:
•Those who have a severe allergy to chicken eggs
•Individuals who have had a severe reaction to a flu vaccination
•Those who developed Guillain-Barré syndrome after receiving a flu vaccine
•Individuals who are ill with a fever should wait to get vaccinated until their symptoms subside
Other precautions to help prevent the flu include:
•Regular and thorough hand washing
•Getting plenty of sleep every night
•Eating balanced meals, high in nutritional content
•Adhering to a regular exercise routine (with the physician’s consent)
Learn more about topics concerning Alzheimer’s disease by CLICKING HERE to join our free 25 lesson course written specifically for caregivers and those in the early stages of AD.