The flu is a fairly common viral infection that can lead to a variety of symptoms, including aches, chills, headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, coughing, and stuffy or runny nose. While these are very unpleasant, as a family caregiver it is critical that you realize for an elderly adult they can be very serious as well. A senior who is suffering from the flu can experience more serious symptoms than a younger person who contracts the illness and because of an immune system that is not as strong and effective as a younger person, they are vulnerable to more severe complications as well. The care that you give your parent during this illness can make a tremendous difference in how they get through it and their health moving forward.
Use these tips to help you care for a senior who is suffering from the flu:
- Avoid contact with others. Keep in mind that the flu can be contagious as early as one day before someone starts showing symptoms and for as long as five days after they get sick. Limit the number of people your parent comes into contact with throughout their illness to help reduce the spread. This is especially important if you are also caring for children as it is easy for them to contract the sickness and then spread it back to your parent.
- Keep them hydrated. Your parent might not have much of an appetite when they are suffering from the flu, but it is extremely important that they stay hydrated. Getting enough fluids keeps the body functioning properly, promotes germ fighting and flushing of germs through the body, controls temperature, and thins mucus so it is easier for your parent to breathe and eliminate excess mucus through coughing.
- Wash up. Reduce the risk of spreading the sickness and continually re-infecting your parent by disinfecting their home and washing your hands regularly. Use strong cleaners for all hard surfaces and wash linens, clothes, and towels promptly to keep germs down.
If you are concerned about your aging parent’s health or simply want to ensure that they are getting all of the support and care that they need to live their highest quality of life as they age in place, now may be the ideal time for you to consider starting senior care for them. A senior home care services provider can be with your aging parent on a schedule that is ideal for their needs as well as for the type of care that you already give them. This means that your senior will receive a highly personalized set of services tailored to their specific needs, challenges, limitations, and preferences, while you remain at the forefront of their care, maintaining your relationship with your senior and ensuring that they have the lifestyle and quality of life that they desire and deserve. These services can be particularly beneficial when it comes to helping your aging parent avoid illness and stay healthier throughout their later years. A care provider can encourage your parent to make good lifestyle choices that protect their body, help them to keep their home clean and healthy, and provide dedicated care if your parent is ill or if you are ill and not able to care for your senior as you usually do. As a caregiver this can give you peace of mind and help you to use your time, energy, and resources in the way that is best for them and for you.
If you or an aging loved one needs senior care in Carmichael, CA, remember Senior Home Care Services. Call us at (916) 514-7006 for more information.