Influenza (the flu) is a serious illness that can be especially dangerous for seniors. This flu season comes with an extra layer of precautions, due to COVID-19. Similar to COVID-19, people 65 years and older or people living pre-existing medical conditions such as diabetes, asthma, and chronic heart disease are at a higher risk of experiencing flu complications. According to the CDC, “It is possible to have the flu, as well as other respiratory illnesses, and COVID-19 at the same time,” therefore placing even more importance on preparation and safety before the onset of the flu season.
The flu is preventable, and proper prevention will keep you safe and healthy. We’ve compiled some helpful tips to keep in mind as we enter flu season:
- Wash Your Hands– Washing your hands with an antibacterial soap and warm water is a great and easy way to kill and prevent the spreading of germs.
- Wear your mask– Wearing your masks will not only mitigate the spread of COVID-19, it will also deter the spread of the flu. Furthermore, if you are sneezing or coughing, always cover your mouth and nose with either a tissue or your arm.
- Monitor How You Feel– If you feel symptoms coming on make sure you stay aware of those symptoms and adjust your level of activity to prevent the illness from escalating further. The CDC states that “Some of the symptoms of flu and COVID-19 are similar, making it hard to tell the difference between them based on symptoms alone. Diagnostic testing can help determine if you are sick with flu or COVID-19.” Follow this link for more information on diagnostic testing: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/symptoms/testing.htm
- Continue to Social Distance –The rules of safety for COVID-19 apply to the flu as well. Keeping a safe from others will keep the flu virus from spreading.
- Stay Home if You Are Sick –If you do fall victim to an illness, make sure you stay home and rest which will help to prevent further spread of the virus.
- Get the Flu Vaccine– The annual flu shot is the best way to reduce your risk of the flu and its potentially serious consequences. According to the CDC, “getting a flu vaccine during 2020-2021 is more important than ever because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic”. Many pharmacies offer free flu shots and primary care physicians can offer them during routine health care visits.
It’s not too late to get the flu shot, and although it is recommended to be received by the end of October, the National Influenza Vaccination Week (NIVW) takes place December 6-12. If you would like to receive a flu shot, you can utilize the CDC’s “Flu Finder Widget”.
The stress and strain of COVID-19 may make this upcoming flu season seem daunting. However, the pandemic has taught us how to live safer and with a heightened awareness of our health, which will be useful during the fall and winter flu season. Fortunately, our COVID-19 safety measures will help mitigate flu spread, and the preventative efforts each of us make daily will keep us safer as well. And for extra peace of mind, Judson’s five-star healthcare is available to continue to keep residents healthy and happy.
To learn more about Judson’s COVID-19 response, click here: https://www.judsonsmartliving.org/covid-19/
Interested in reading about the momentous impact of Judson’s Heroes throughout COVID-19? Check out our associate appreciation page, which contains nearly 100 notes of gratitude from our residents and their families: https://www.judsonsmartliving.org/thank-you-judson-heroes/