Although your older family member can get a cold at any time of the year, colds are more common during the winter months. The colder weather doesn’t make people sick, but experts say that viruses that cause colds may spread more easily in cold weather. Perhaps part of that is that people tend to stay indoors more when the temperatures dip, so they are trapped inside with the cold virus. While a cold seldom results in any serious complications, they aren’t pleasant and can make an older adult miserable. They can also make your job as a family caregiver more difficult. Fortunately, there are steps you can help the senior take to avoid getting a common cold. Below are some tips to prevent your aging relative from catching a cold.
Wash Hands Frequently
One of the most common ways that colds are spread is when someone coughs or sneezes into their hands and then touches a surface. Then, another person comes along and touches the same surface before touching their face. The virus enters the body through the nose, mouth, or eyes and causes a cold. The best way to stop that cycle is to wash hands frequently. When soap and water aren’t available, have your older family member use a hand sanitizer with alcohol in it.
Eat a Healthy Diet
To stay healthy and fight off viruses, the body needs fuel that comes from eating nutritious foods. Be sure to include plenty of vegetables in the senior’s diet. Leafy green vegetables are a good way to support the immune system. Also, eating vegetables in a wide variety of colors can ensure the senior gets all of the nutrients they need.
Because viruses can survive on surfaces for a while, it’s important to disinfect surfaces that people touch regularly. In the house, use a disinfectant cleaner to wipe down countertops, faucets, and doorknobs. It may also be a good idea to carry disinfecting wipes in public to wipe things like shopping cart handles and the door handles and faucets in public bathrooms.
Don’t Share Dishes and Utensils
It’s not uncommon for people who are close to take a bite from someone else’s plate or a sip from their drinking glass. However, that can spread germs. To protect your older family member, encourage them not to share their eating utensils or dishes with other people.
Senior care providers can also help older adults to prevent catching a cold. Senior care providers can remind them to wash their hands often. In addition, a senior care provider can make sure to pack hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes when taking the older adult on an outing. Senior care providers can also clean the older adult’s house to make sure surfaces stay as germ-free as possible.
If you or an aging loved-one is considering Senior Care in Garland, TX please contact the caring staff at Althea Homecare today at 972-245-4458.