Colds and flu can happen anytime, but this time of year with people traveling for the holidays and congregating in airports, at shopping centers, and at home with visiting family – the germs of a cold or flu travels with us – infecting others as we go. Elder adults may have a compromised immune system, so when we go to visit grandma and grandpa, we want to make sure we are not sharing more than love when we visit.
Here are 6 tips for staying healthy this winter
- Get a flu shot. It’s the number one thing you can do to prevent the flu.
- Wash your hands — a lot. No matter what line of work you’re in, if you come in contact with people who are contagious, you have to wash your hands over and over.
- Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer. If you can’t get to soap and water, sanitizer can kill cold and flu germs.
- Avoid getting close to people who are sick. For example, don’t shake hands.
- Keep your surroundings clean. Sanitize doorknobs and light switches . Don’t share the candy in candy dishes. Start your day by cleaning the work space, or places in your home such as telephone, table and desktop surfaces, faucets, and anything that hands touch frequently with virus-and-germ-killing soaps.
- Awareness. It may sound like overkill, but it’s not — it’s awareness. It’s a matter of looking at your environment and thinking, ‘What could be contaminated?’
- Keep up a healthy lifestyle. It’s important to look after your own health. Get adequate rest — which people underestimate — get good nutrition, drink lots of water, don’t smoke, and keep your allergies controlled, because if they’re out of control, then your upper respiratory tree is already inflamed, which sets it up to more easily acquire a virus.
Spread love and kindness this season – not germs!
The video above is courtesy of Speak Up! This information is used for public service announcements, websites, community newsletters, health fairs, closed circuit patient education television, and staff education. The popular animated videos have been downloaded by organizations in more than 70 countries.
About the Author: Jean Garboden is the Director of Education and Innovation at Compass Senior Living, located in Eugene Oregon. Jean is an Elder Advocate and Eden Alternative Educator with over 30 years’ experience in not-for-profit and for profit health care organizations. She is honored to lead the mission and values culture development for Compass Senior Living. Jean lives in Las Vegas, Nevada where she enjoys the weather and volunteers with the Nevadans for the Common Good, advocating for caregivers and elders in southern Nevada.