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Aging Veteran Care: Staying Healthy Through the Flu Season

For the aging veteran in your life, you just don’t want him to get sick. Catching the flu is something that is no more than an annoyance for most people; but for elderly persons it can develop into something more serious and be very hard to overcome. If you can help him take a preventive approach to good health, and always do something about early signs of symptoms, he will be much better able to fight off the flu.

Keeping his immune system in top shape is paramount. Daily exercise and eating in a healthy way are two of the top strategies for staying well. Additionally, a flu shot for seniors if available would be a great asset to maintaining his health through the flu season.

Adequate sleep while healthy will help to ward off sickness, and adequate sleep and rest at the first sign of symptoms will help the body to fight off the sickness more quickly.

Some of the tried and true age-old remedies still work very well. Many people swear by a hot bowl of chicken soup when they are feeling sick. If symptoms get serious in a senior, he should definitely make a visit to the doctor and see if any medications are required.

In general, the following strategies can bring comfort to the person with flu symptoms:

  • Getting lots of rest
  • Drink lots of clear fluids including sports drinks that are enriched with electrolytes, water and broth
  • Place a cool, damp washcloth on the forehead to relieve fever
  • A humidifier in the room can help to make breathing easier
  • Gargle with salt water helps in soothing a sore throat
  • Cover up with a warm blanket to help calm the chills
  • Treat congestion with decongestants but only on the advice of a health care provider

How the flu may affect your aging veteran

Seniors are more prone to catching sicknesses. They may already have a health condition which increases the risk of complications from the flu. These complications can be very serious and may include lung disease, weakened immune system, heart disease or diabetes.

Flu can also bring on pneumonia, which is a high risk for seniors. Take as many steps as possible to avoid your senior catching the flu. The preventive measures are important, as well as staying on top of any early symptoms as soon as they appear.

Bonnie Laiderman, CEO

Bonnie Laiderman, founder of Veterans Home Care®, has helped more than 20,000 veterans and their spouses receive in-home care through the unique VetAssist® Program. Started in 2003 as a one-woman operation, Bonnie has overseen the growth of the company to become the national leader and unparalleled experts in VA Aid and Attendance benefits for home care. Veterans Home Care has also earned the Better Business Bureau's Torch Award for Ethics and Inc. 5000 award of fastest-growing companies seven times. Now with offices coast-to-coast, Veterans Home Care serves our veterans in 48 states throughout the country.
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