The flu virus presents an annual risk to our population, especially among aging adults. Flu symptoms can quickly escalate into medical emergencies among those with compromised immune systems. This includes people with chronic illnesses, and it also includes aging adults whose bodies generally take longer to recover from illnesses.

Flu Activity During 2017-2018

During the 2017-2018 flu season, the CDC has reported widespread flu activity across the United States. Here’s how nonmedical home care workers can help seniors avoid contracting the flu:

  • Transportation to a doctor’s office, clinic, or pharmacy to receive the flu vaccine.
  • Preparation of healthy meals to keep up immune system strength and ensure seniors are sufficiently hydrated.
  • Checking in on seniors regularly and letting their care team know if their health seems to have deteriorated in any way.
  • Safe, prompt transportation to medical appointments if symptoms do arise.
  • Assistance with activities of daily living, which can reduce stress. This eases pressure on the immune system. Companionship care can also reduce stress.
  • Light housekeeping and assistance with grooming and hygiene decreases the likelihood of contracting infections. Soap and water remain excellent defenses against microbial infections, so it’s important to wash your hands frequently and stick to a regular bathing schedule.

Make sure the home care agency you hire has a vaccination program for all workers. Anyone who works in the care industry should be vaccinated against the flu in order to avoid transmitting it to their clients.