Helping Seniors Avoid the Common Colds this Winter Season
The National Institutes of Health reports that there are around 1 billion new cases of the common cold in the US each year. This number far exceeds the US population of approximately 314 million people, indicating that many, if not most, people in the US contract several colds per year.
Colds can be especially dangerous for young children and the elderly, since their immune systems typically have more difficulty fighting off infection. Given this, it is especially important to reduce the risk to seniors and children of contracting viruses. Here are some tips from senior care franchise owners for helping seniors avoid catching a cold:
- Wash hands frequently — The average person touches various surfaces that can harbor germs—doorknobs, countertops, toilet lids—hundreds of times per day. Washing hands frequently with soap and hot water reduces the chances of contracting a virus.
- Avoid touching the face — Touching your hands to your face brings germs closer to open areas such as the mouth, eyes and nose where germs can easily enter the body. Avoid touching the face as much as possible.
- Keep surfaces clean and disinfected — Viruses can live on surfaces for two to eight hours, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Disinfect surfaces frequently, especially in high-traffic areas, to avoid coming into contact with viruses.
- Eat a balanced, healthy diet — A healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables helps boost immunity — the body’s first line of defense against cold and flu viruses.
- Take supplements for vitamin/mineral deficiencies — For some people, it is difficult to get all the nutrition they need from diet, alone, and some individuals may have vitamin or mineral deficiencies as a result of taking certain medications. Taking a vitamin and mineral supplement will help ensure that all nutritional needs are met, boosting the immune system.
By taking extra care and precautions, such as those outlined above, seniors and their caretakers can reduce the likelihood of coming into contact with cold and flu viruses for a healthier, happier winter season.
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