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October 29, 2019

Your Guide to the Seasonal Flu: How the Flu Affects Seniors

Once October rolls around, it signals the start of the holiday season. But there’s something else in the air this time of year. It’s the flu, and it’s something that seniors should take seriously. According to the CDC, adults over the age of 65 are at the highest risk for contracting the flu.

While the flu can be dangerous for seniors if left untreated, the good news is the flu is preventable. All you need is the right knowledge to help you stay healthy during this tricky time of year.

Keep reading below to discover your guide to the flu season. We’ll cover minimizing your exposure to germs, flu symptoms to look out for and why you should consider a senior flu shot. We’ll also answer key questions such as, “how long does the flu last in the elderly?” After all, the last thing you need this year is the flu stopping you from enjoying the lifestyle you worked so hard to achieve.

How to Minimize Your Exposure to the Flu

Did you know the most common way to get the flu is to breathe in air containing the virus? Droplets of the flu get exposed to the air whenever someone with the flu sneezes, talks or coughs. To make flu prevention more challenging, the flu can even survive on most surfaces for up to a full day.

Here’s a few of the best ways you can minimize your exposure to the flu:

  • Limit contact with people who might have the flu
  • Regularly clean your household surfaces with disinfectant
  • Wash your hands often throughout the day
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth
  • Practice good sleep habits

Senior Flu Symptoms to Lookout For

While there are different types of the flu you can contract, the symptoms are similar. Symptoms of the flu you should be on the lookout for include:

  • Runny nose
  • Sore throat
  • Fever over 100 degrees
  • Headaches
  • Chills and muscle cramps
  • Coughing

Unfortunately, the symptoms of the flu mirror the symptoms of a cold. But leaving the flu untreated has much more serious consequences.

Is it the Cold or the Flu?

If you have some of the symptoms above, it doesn’t mean you have the flu. While the common cold is less severe, it’s recommended you visit your doctor after exhibiting these symptoms. Your doctor will be able to help determine if you have the flu and ensure you get the right treatment.

How Long Does the Flu Last in the Elderly?

If it turns out you do have the flu, it usually lasts from 7 to 10 days. If you don’t feel better after that time, make sure to get back in touch with your doctor and let them know.

Why You Should Consider Senior Flu Shots

According to the CDC, 70 percent of flu-related hospitalizations involve seniors. And one of the best ways to protect yourself from the flu is to get a senior flu shot. In the same study, the CDC found that seniors who have gotten a flu shot are 57 percent less likely to be hospitalized from the flu.

A senior flu shot not only helps keep you healthy – it helps protect everyone around you, as well. It’s possible for someone who hasn’t received the flu shot to not get sick but still be a carrier. Flu shots help stop the spread of the virus and contribute to your community’s wellness.

High Dose Senior Flu Shots

As we naturally age, our immune systems can become weaker. That’s what the high dose flu shot fights against. The shot has a higher level of antigens and antibodies to help seniors fight against the flu. If you’re interested in this option, ask your doctor for more information.

Living a More Vibrant Life at Symphony Senior Living

Doing all you can to protect yourself against the flu helps you enjoy your vibrant lifestyle. And so can making a move to a Symphony Senior Living community.

At Symphony Senior Living, personal connections and following passions take center stage. For more information on how we can help support the vibrant lifestyle you have worked hard for, contact our friendly staff today!

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