East Bay CNA from Hillendale Home Care is licensed by the State of California to provide Certified Nursing training courses for Contra Costa and Alameda Counties.

Seasonal Influenza Preventative Measures Keep Older Adults Safe

These tips can help seniors remain safe from seasonal influenza.

If there is one important lesson that we have learned during the pandemic, it’s how critical everyday preventative actions are in stopping the spread of a virus. Not only have measures like remaining home if feeling ill, frequent hand washing, and wearing a face covering helped to slow the spread of COVID-19, but these steps have also had a significant impact on reducing the spread of colds and seasonal influenza. This is especially welcomed news for older adults and others who are at greater risk for complications from these viruses. 

During a typical flu season, older adults are at greatest risk for developing complications or becoming hospitalized from influenza. This is due in part to an immune system that becomes less effective with age, as well as pre-existing health conditions that can make it harder for the body to fight the influenza virus effectively. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention share the following flu facts:

  • Together, influenza and pneumonia represent the 7th leading cause of death for people ages 65 and over in America.
  • The chance of death from influenza and pneumonia is higher than the risk of death from an automobile accident for the elderly. 
  • Of approximately 32,400 annual American flu-related deaths, 90% are people ages 65 and over.
  • Of around 225,000 American flu-related hospitalizations, more than 50% occur for people ages 65 and over.

The CDC provides specific recommendations that can be easily implemented to help older adults avoid the flu and its related complications:

  • Get a flu shot. Because people over age 65 are at increased risk for complications from the flu, this is vitally important.
  • Practice good health habits. Stay away from those who are sick, wash hands often and cover coughs. Consider wearing a face covering when out in public places.
  • Seek timely medical advice if flu symptoms develop. Antiviral drugs can sometimes be used to treat those with a greater risk of serious complications (including individuals over age 65), if symptoms are caught quickly.

Because of the greater health risks for older adults, it’s important for family members and caregivers who interact with seniors to not only follow preventative measures, but also to receive an annual flu vaccine. Setting a good example and encouraging seniors to do the same will help reduce the risk of contracting seasonal flu. 

At the Hillendale Home Care HHA and CNA training programs, we pride ourselves on following proper safety protocols in order to keep our care team and the seniors in our care safe. To learn more about how a caregiving career positively impacts the lives of older adults in our community, reach out to us via our online contact form or give us a call at 925-297-2676. We’d love to share more about this exciting opportunity to work with one of the top-rated home care agencies in Pleasanton and the surrounding communities.