“Nowhere to run to, baby. Nowhere to hide.”

This classic tune by Martha & the Vandellas might run through some caregivers heads when the ones they are caring for get sick. With the flu season gearing up, everyone is telling us to avoid people who are sick with the flu, but caregivers certainly don’t always have that option. It doesn’t help much that caregivers often put themselves last on the priority list for rest either. So the question becomes: hOther than trying to get a flu shot early in the season, how does a caregiver take action to protect themselves from the flu? The answer – follow these guidelines:

Protecting Yourself While Caring for Others:

If you are taking care of someone at home who has the flu, protect yourself and the other people in the household.

Protect Other Persons in the Home

If possible, have only one adult in the home take care of the sick person.

Placement of the Sick Person

Keep the sick person in a room separate from the common areas of the house with the door closed if possible.

Household Cleaning, Laundry and Waste Disposal

To maintain your health and others, follow certain cleaning disposal procedures.

Talk to a healthcare provider about medications to help lessen symptoms of the flu as well as any special care that might be needed, especially if the sick person is pregnant or has a health condition such as diabetes, heart disease, asthma or emphysema.

In the midst of caring for others, don’t forget to care for yourself first by taking action. Get your vaccination early and implement these steps to knockout the flu this season.

*Preventative information taken from http://www.flu.gov/individualfamily/caregivers/index.html

Carrie Robertson
Research & Community Education

Chicago Senior Living
Assisted Living in Chicago

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