With flu season approaching, make sure to get the flu shot by the end of October. Adults over 65 are most at risk for flu-related complications because immune defenses weaken with age. Caregivers and family members are also encouraged to receive their flu shots.
“We experienced a severe flu season last year, so it’s important for seniors to protect themselves by getting a flu shot,” said Fidelis Care Chief Medical Officer Vincent Marchello, MD. “It’s one of the best ways to protect yourself and your family members.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, flu activity typically begins to rise in October and peaks between December and February. Dr. Marchello offers the following tips on how to prepare for the upcoming flu season:
- Get a flu shot. You can also get your pneumonia vaccine along with your flu shot if you have not already received it.
- See a doctor quickly. The flu often starts as a cold. You may even start to feel better – but if you begin to feel much worse, it’s time to see a doctor right away.
- Avoid people who are sick. If you are exposed to someone with the flu, Dr. Marchello recommends talking to your doctor right away about how you can lower your risk of getting the flu.
- Wash your hands frequently. Use warm, soapy water, and wash your hands for as long as it takes you to sing the “Happy Birthday” song twice.
- Drink plenty of water. If you have the flu, it’s even more important to stay hydrated. Caregivers must also make sure the people they care for drink enough water.
- Eat a well-balanced diet. Proper nutrition can help you avoid the flu, and recover more quickly if you do get the flu.
Fidelis Care recommends speaking with a Primary Care Provider if there are questions about the flu and to find out if the flu shot is right for you.