Happy New Year! Let’s kick 2021 off with a few helpful tips to keep you healthy during this winter season.
Luckily for us, we live in Central Florida and don’t necessarily face the harsh winter weather. That’s why we live here. Right? That doesn’t prevent our more vulnerable seniors from avoiding infections like bronchitis and even pneumonia. Historically, the winter season is the host of challenging months for caregivers and seniors.
According to Legacy.com, from 1980 to 2017, the most senior deaths in the United States occurred in January. Factors that contribute to the risks faced are flu, pneumonia, lowered immunity, falls, and not to magnify the risks, coronavirus.
We want you to be prepared to remain healthy during this season so that you have one less worry when caregiving for a senior or if you fall within the age of consideration of being an older adult. Preparation is the key to positive and successful outcomes. Following is a short list of a few tips that are helpful to stay healthy in 2021.
Cleanliness is crucial for good health. Cleanliness includes proper hand hygiene, cleaning & disinfecting your home regularly, and is proven to reduce the risk of exposure to germs. If your loved one lives in a congregate residence setting, such as assisted living or skilled nursing, ask about the protocols they follow to ensure cleanliness and exposure to harmful germs.
Use of personal protective equipment: masks, gloves, and hand sanitizer are helpful tools in combating exposure to germs that lead to illness. While you are out, wear your mask and keep your sanitizer handy for hand hygiene. These are efficient measures when in close contact with others to avoid cross-infection.
Have an emergency plan in the event your loved one needs to be cared for by another family member or individual if you become ill. It would help if you prepared to have a back-up caregiver arranged in the case of this happening. Keep their ID & insurance cards in a place where your back-caregiver can locate them. A medication list is helpful to know and understand their medication regimen. A list of contacts, including the primary care physician for appointments. It may be beneficial that your loved one is familiar with the back-up caregiver before an emergency. Having a plan in place will be significant in assisting the caregiver transition.