Parents In Aged Care And The Flu: Steps To Prevent Them Becoming Ill

22 September 2017
 Categories: , Blog

It may be coming to the end of the flu season, but that does not mean that people are clear from the risk of becoming ill. Your mother has recently entered an aged care facility, and you have concerns about news reports regarding fatalities among senior citizens in aged care homes who have contracted the flu. Older people become more vulnerable to flu symptoms because their immune system weakens with age. However, there are plenty of steps you can take to make sure your mum brushes off the bugs while settling into her new home.

Stay vaccinated

There is no 100% foolproof vaccine for influenza, but once she has the flu shot, your mum's chance of getting the flu reduce by approximately 40-50% compared to those who have not received the vaccine. Doctors recommend that the flu vaccine is administered during autumn, but it is never too late to receive a flu jab. If your mum has not had one in recent years, get her local GP to take care of this now.

Stock up on liquid soap

People with the flu pass on their germs through sneezes and bad sanitary habits such as unwashed hands. Now that your mum is living in a communal facility with a lot more people, it is important she step up her hygiene habits to ensure the germs don't have a chance to enter her system. To that end, make sure she has easy access to stocks of hand soap and hand sanitizer during the flu season.

Keep away from those who are ill

It can be difficult to avoid illness when you are living in housing with others who are ill. But, there are still a couple of things which can be done to minimise the chances of getting sick. For example, if flu is sweeping through the aged care facility, get your mum to confine herself to her room for a while. You could also buy a pack of disposable facemasks from the local chemist which she can wear while moving among the other residents. The face mask reduces the chance of airborne germs getting into her airways.

Taking steps to keep your mum healthy at her new aged care residence does take a little forethought, but using these steps will go a long way to making sure she doesn't fall foul of the flu bug. If she does start to show any flu symptoms, arrange for her to see a doctor as soon as possible. so the symptoms are managed.