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The days are getting shorter, colder, and Thanksgiving is just around the corner. Unfortunately, that means that cold and flu season is just around the corner as well. Even though we are still recovering and learning to deal with Covid-19 that does not lessen the threat that other illnesses can still hold for seniors. 

As we have sadly witnessed over and over during the pandemic seniors are one of the most vulnerable groups when it comes to sickness. Seniors (and their caregivers) run a much higher risk of getting sick. Seniors have a weaker immune system and many caregivers run a higher risk of getting sick due to lack of sleep and chronic stress weakening their immune system. Plus, if they are spending a lot of time together they are likely to pass germs back and forth to each other. 

Be that as it may, we have known about this for a long time so thankfully we can be prepared when this time comes around every year. Today we wanted to go over some health tips so seniors, family, friends, and caregivers can all be proactive and keep each other healthy this year during cold and flu season. 


Tips To Stay Healthy

1. Wash and sanitize your hands frequently.

This may seem obvious but it is one of the most basic ways to stop the spread of germs and prevent you and others from getting sick. Many people have heard this so many times during the pandemic that it may be drowned out by now, but here we are to remind you again, wash your hands!

Washing your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds(which is about as long as singing the Happy Birthday song) is the most effective way to remove germs and bacteria from your hands. Make sure you are cleaning under your nails, the back of your hands, between your fingers, and even your wrists. 

Since you may not always have access to soap and warm water try and keep hand sanitizer with you at all times. This will give you a backup to make sure you can still keep your hands germ-free and keep yourself and others healthy. 

2. Get your flu vaccine.

Influenza can affect seniors more severely than it may have when they were younger and had stronger immune systems to fight it off. Even if you may not have received a flu shot in the past you may want to consider getting one that may help protect you from contracting the flu this season or passing it to a loved one. 

3. Frequently clean and sanitize your environment.

Try your best to keep your home and areas you spend a lot of time in as sanitized as possible. Regularly wipe down surfaces with disinfectant wipes. Focus on high traffic areas and surfaces that could be germ powerhouses such as the bathroom, car, and kitchen. 

When cleaning your common areas make sure you focus on highly touched surfaces such as knobs, light switches, sinks, and countertops. When cleaning make sure you don’t forget to change out hand towels and sponges often in the bathroom and kitchen, these are the perfect breeding ground for germs and are easily forgotten about. 

4. Clean your everyday handheld items.

One of the dirtiest things that humans own is their cell phone and it is probably the item that most of them forget to clean regularly. It is also important to remember to disinfect other frequently touched daily objects such as your keys, wallet, and purse.
When cleaning your cell phone use disinfectant wipes or rubbing alcohol to remove germs while being diligent not to get the electronics too wet. 

5. Get exercise regularly.

Exercising does more than you would think to keep you healthy. Studies have shown that exercising daily for up to 45 min at a moderate intensity can help boost your immune system! 

We know that seniors may have limitations when it comes to exercising but there are plenty of safe ways for seniors to get in their daily exercise in such as swimming, walking, senior-focused exercise classes, yoga, chair yoga, and much more. 

6. Avoid touching your face.

On average, a person touches their face 23 times an hour without realizing it. Many sicknesses such as cold and flu enter the body through contact with the face via nose, throat, or mouth. By trying to consciously avoid contact with your face in combination with frequent hand washing you can greatly reduce your chances of getting sick!

7. Drink water.

Everyone knows that you are supposed to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated which has plenty of health benefits like increased energy, weight loss, healthy skin, lower cholesterol, and much more. However, did you know that one of the less well-known health benefits of drinking enough water throughout the day is a boost in your immunity? Adults should try to drink about eight glasses of water a day and this may vary depending on the season and activity levels. 

8. Eat a healthy diet.

Improving your nutrition is a great way to decrease your likelihood of getting sick. Eating a diet rich in protein and micronutrients that give your body the necessary vitamins(such as Vitamin C) it needs to keep you strong is one of your best lines of defense against cold and flu season. 

If you find it hard to get all your nutrition needs covered through your diet then you may want to speak to your doctor about adding supplements to your diet to optimize your health. 

9. Avoid contact with sick people.

This is one of the most obvious but necessary ways to stay healthy during cold and flu season, avoid contact with people who are sick whenever it is possible. If there is no way to avoid being around someone who is ill try to take as many precautions to protect yourself as possible. 

10. Avoid large crowds and travel when possible.

Try to avoid large crowds of people and travel as often as you can. Being on planes, trains, or buses typically means there is poor air circulation thus increasing the chance of you getting sick. 

We hope you found this blog post informative, we are honored to have been named one of the Top 100 Senior Care Blogs on the internet! We have loved sharing with you over the past few more and are excited to keep sharing.


Dwell at Home is bringing in-home senior care into the palm of your hand with a mobile application that values convenience, personalized mentorship, and trust.  You can download the app in the Apple App store today by clicking here!

Dwell at Home is not a licensed medical professional and all information provided is provided “as is” with no warranties. You should consult a licensed physician