Five Steps You Can Take to Prevent the Flu

February 1, 2013
Help aging parents and others avoid the flu this season

Help aging parents and others avoid the flu this season.

The flu season is in full swing. Hopefully, you and your aging parents have already had a flu shot. If not however, it’s a good idea to make it a priority to get one as soon as possible.

The flu can be a serious inconvenience for anyone, but it can be especially serious for the elderly; some statistics indicate that 90% of all flu-related deaths occur in individuals who are 65 or older. Doing everything possible to prevent flu in aging parents and other seniors is crucial.

Protecting Yourself from the Flu

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend five simple steps you can take in order to remain healthy:

  • Keep your hands clean. Use soap and water to wash your hands several times a day, especially before handling food. Keep a supply of alcohol-based hand cleaning solution nearby for situations in which soap and water are not convenient or available.
  • Keep your hands away from your face. You can’t totally avoid this, of course, but frequently touching your eyes, nose, and mouth increases the chance of spreading germs. When you cough or sneeze, use a tissue and throw it away after you use it.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are already sick. If you can’t avoid close contact, consider wearing a face mask and disposable gloves.
  • Act healthy. That doesn’t mean that you should pretend to be healthy; it means that it’s helpful engage in healthy activities – getting plenty of rest, exercising appropriately, drinking enough fluids, following a good diet, and keeping your stress down to manageable levels.
  • Ask your doctor whether you need an antiviral drug. Antiviral drugs can help prevent flu in someone who has already been exposed to another person with the flu.

Doctors are telling us that this year will probably be a “strong” flu season. Don’t take any chances, either with your loved ones’ health or with your own. The more you can do to keep the flu at bay, the better off you will all be.


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Writer, Craig Butler

Craig Butler has been writing on a wide range of topics for more than fifteen years. As the National Communications Director for the Cooley's Anemia Foundation, Craig regularly writes on a range of health and medical topics. Among the many projects he has written for the Foundation is the Cooley's Anemia Storybook, a collection of original short stories for children with the blood disorder Cooley's Anemia. His freelance work has ranged from reviewing moves and CDs to creating entertainment-related stories about baldness, to creating text for comic strips. Craig looks forward to having a dialogue with you about senior care and issues of concern.

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