As cold and flu season increases, it is important to recognize that there is another risk your parent is facing. Pneumonia can be extremely dangerous for your aging adults, leading it to potentially severe consequences, including the potential for death.
As a family caregiver, it is extremely important for you to take as many steps as possible to reduce this risk for your parent.
While there are many things you can do directly related to their care, you must not forget the importance of taking care of yourself and your children. Elderly adults are more susceptible to illness and infection than younger people. This means that even an illness that seems minor to you, or illnesses with symptoms that are extremely mild or may not even be showing, can lead to very serious health problems for your parent. Keeping your entire family healthy is an important step toward keeping your aging parent healthy.
Use these tips to take care of yourself and your children to reduce your seniors and pneumonia risk :
- Avoid contact with people who are sick, or who have been sick in the last week.
- Wash your hands regularly to remove germs. If you do not have access to soap and running water, use waterless hand sanitizing gel to remove germs after contact with potentially germy surfaces or other people.
- If your child is feeling ill, do not send them to school. They are likely to come into contact with further germs there and become sicker. They will recover faster and more effectively if they get the rest they need.
- Eat a healthy diet and stay hydrated at all times.
- Make sure everyone gets plenty of sleep.
- Regularly disinfect hard surfaces throughout the house.
- Wash bed linens at least every week, and more frequently if there is any chance of illness.
- Avoid going to the hospital unless it is absolutely necessary.
- Rather than going and sitting in the waiting room as a “walk-in” at the doctor, make an appointment if a member of your family gets sick. This will help to minimize exposure to other potentially sick people.
- Talk to your doctor about the flu shot and pneumococcal vaccines to see if these might be appropriate to keep all of you healthy.
One of the best things you can do to take care of your parent is to take care of yourself.
When you are at your healthiest, you are able to be the best family caregiver you can for your senior. This means finding ways to reduce your stress and give you the time and energy you need to take proper care of your own personal needs, including getting enough sleep and reducing stress.
Having senior care as a part of your care approach for your parent is one of the best ways you can do this. A senior home care services provider can handle a variety of care tasks for your parent so you have the time and flexibility in your schedule to ensure you stay healthy and strong, and can give your senior everything they need as they age in place.