Magazine article USA TODAY

Help Seniors (and Everyone) Stave off Flu

Magazine article USA TODAY

Help Seniors (and Everyone) Stave off Flu

Article excerpt

This flu season's vicious influenza epidemic has threatened seniors, but their families and caregivers can help them out with "Fight the Flu Kits" Weaker immune systems make seniors more vulnerable to the flu, which is why 90% of all flu-related deaths and more than half of flu-related hospitalizations occur in people age 65 or older.

Visiting Angels, Havertown, Pa., an in-home senior care service, points out that the kit can be assembled from items available at most retail stores:

* Pens. Individuals should always have their own pen handy; those shared in public areas carry a wide range of germs.

* Paper towels. Encourage use of these in the bathroom instead of hand towels, which can harbor germs.

* Temple-touch thermometer. If seniors have a fever higher than 102[degrees], that could indicate they have the flu.

* Vitamin C or small boxes of orange juice. This helps build weaker immune systems.

* Pocket-size hand sanitizer with aloe. It helps keep skin germ-free without drying it out.

* Disinfectant spray. Be sure to use on doorknobs, handles, and light switches, etc. …

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