Acti-Kare's thoughts on the flu virus
By Paul Williams
Special to The Citizen
My wife Heidi and I recently visited the emergency room and then our local Doctor’s office. I was amazed at the number of people in the waiting room who were coughing, hacking, and just generally ill with (and this is my diagnosis) “the flu”. I am further amazed that the health care professionals seemed to be healthy. As the father of a surgeon, I can tell you that flu or no flu, these dedicated folks are going to work.
I began to think of the dangers of flu for our elderly clients. As you age, your immune system weakens. The weakening of the immune system makes seniors (adults 65 years and older) more susceptible to the flu virus. For senior citizens, the seasonal flu can be very serious and in some cases deadly. Ninety percent of flu-related deaths (and more than half of flu-related hospitalizations) occur in people age 65 and older.
How do you know if you have the flu? Flu symptoms include fever, sore throat, cough, runny (and stuffy nose), body aches (including headaches,) chills and fatigue. Some may also experience vomiting and/or diarrhea. It is important to note that you may be infected with the flu virus and have respiratory symptoms without a fever.
How can you protect yourself? Take everyday preventative actions. This includes covering coughs, washing hands often, and avoiding people who are sick. Getting the flu vaccine may help protect you and prevent you from spreading the flu to your loved ones such as your spouse, children, or grandchildren.
What should you do if you develop flu symptoms? If you develop flu-like symptoms, contact your health care provider immediately. Since you are at high risk for flu-related complications, your health care provider may prescribe antiviral medications to help make your symptoms less severe and make you feel better faster. Be sure to follow all of the instructions provided by your health care provider.
Every family has a unique structure and each person requires a plan that addresses their specific wants and needs. This is where we can help. Local Fayette County residents Paul and Heidi Williams own ACTi-KARE Responsive In Home Care. We specialize in providing professional and highly individualized non-medical services to help seniors (or others in need of care) to maintain their independence and dignity while still receiving the assistance they require. Our services are designed to help the seniors continue to live in their own home.
For more information about ACTi-KARE Responsive In-Home Care, please visit our web site at www.actikarefayettevillega.com or call and speak to Paul or Heidi Williams at our Fayetteville office, 770-461-7881. Feel free to also call Paul on his cell at 770-712-6127.