elderly woman with cold or flu
Senior Health

Protecting Seniors from the Flu

Caregivers and seniors themselves need to watch out for “senior” flu symptoms. A study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society found 26% of hospitalized seniors with flu did not exhibit the usual symptoms like fever, body aches or a cough.


  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Delirium

Also, monitor any senior’s diet. You want to make sure seniors are making healthy choices like these to build up strength and immunity during flu season.

  • Whole Grains – Whole grains contain brown rice, oats and buckwheat which studies say help build healthy bacteria in your stomach, plus whole grains are loaded with zinc, an immune booster.
  • Garlic – This popular addition to many dishes contains allicine, a compound known to boost immunity.
  • Chicken Soup – A study published in the American Journal of Therapeutics found most recipes for chicken soup include a compound called carnosine, which can mobilize the immune system to fight the early stages of flu.

Constantly wipe away flu germs.

The CDC reports viruses can live on surfaces for 24 hours and people with flu can spread it to others up to six feet away.  Throughout flu season use paper towels while cleaning. Germs like to grow in wet, moist areas like sponges and towels. Use paper towels with a disinfectant spray to frequently wipe down countertops, door knobs, light switches, railings and other surfaces a senior might touch throughout the day. You can also use a Lysol sanitizing wipe as a backup.

paper towelsFrequently wash hands.

Flu germs easily spread when someone touches their nose, mouth or eyes. Health officials recommend you wash hands with soap and water.

Help seniors relax during flu season and make sure they get plenty of rest.

Experts advise seven to nine hours of sleep a night to help build up immunity.

Visiting Angels caregivers help seniors get ready for the day, plan and prepare meals, run errands, help them keep their homes tidy and provide much needed companionship. They are experts in their field and can quickly identify when a senior needs to get in front of a health care provider.

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