Staying away from work or crowded places while sick is important to prevent spreading the flu to others. But that's not an option for seniors living in care centers or assisted living communities making senior flu prevention that much harder at these communities. When you congregate large numbers of people in close quarters, transmission is a lot easier.
However, care centers usually require all employees to be vaccinated, which is the single most effective way to guard against getting the flu. And, it's important to get a flu shot every year, because the virus changes slightly from year to year. Getting a flu shot one year and not the next, will not protect someone from that year's particular strain.
Older adults should make every reasonable effort to get vaccinated early in flu season, but don't do it too early in the season, because occasionally the immunity will wear off before flu season ends, especially if the season lasts into March or April.
While vaccination is the most important senior flu prevention, it's only 70 to 90 percent effective, so some people who receive the vaccination will still get the flu.
So, for at-risk populations, it's especially important that everyone around them also gets vaccinated. That includes everyone involved in taking care of the elderly. And like skilled nursing facilities, some hospitals, require all employees to be vaccinated.
During flu season, practicing good hygiene can help people avoid catching or spreading the flu. Wash hands frequently, especially after touching door knobs and stair rails in public places. Always cover nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing, and immediately wash hands afterward. And, of course, stay away from people who are sick. People taking care of the elderly especially need to follow this type of common sense senior flu prevention.
Take care this flu season. If you would like more information about the flu or would want to talk to a healthcare professional about protecting your health. Give us a call today, ask to talk to our Education Specialist, Gretchen and we can get you connected. 952.888.7751
Director of Community Relations
Hello friends, my name is Kate and I'd love to share with you ALL of the wonderful things happening at Martin Luther Campus. Be sure to check our Blog, Lifestyle page and Facebook page often to stay updated on the happenings at our community!