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Healthy Living Tips To Avoid The Flu In 55+ Communities In Oregon

Simple tips for weathering the flu season

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With flu season creeping in, winter can make us a little wary. But with a little planning and some simple hygiene practices, avoiding the flu can be made a little more manageable. There’s no need to miss out on family get-togethers or cozy evenings. Integrating some of these simple steps into your daily routine will not only benefit you, but also those in our most vulnerable populations!

In our retirement communities in Oregon, we pride ourselves on arming our community with knowledge and empowering them to make smart decisions when it comes to staying healthy. That’s why we have compiled these tips and tricks for effectively preventing the flu this winter.

Wipe Down Hard Surfaces

While it is easy to forget about a good daily wipe-down of hard surfaces, it’s one of the best ways to eliminate bacteria and viruses from one’s home. Cleaning up messes with soap and water or vinegar and water is important, yes, but to truly disinfect or sanitize a home, the EPA recommends true disinfectants. We recommend washing hard surfaces with a disinfecting wipe or spray and paper towel to ensure a germ-free space. For product recommendations, the New York Times offers this handy guide.

Hand-washing Rules

This is the go-to recommendation for a reason! Washing your hands after sneezing, coughing, eating, touching your face, and using the restroom is the best way to keep the flu virus from spreading. Proper handwashing techniques include using hot soapy water, lathering for at least 20 seconds, rinsing, and thoroughly and sanitarily drying your hands. If you are like us and washing your hands leaves you with dry skin, consider using an extra strong emollient cream at night while sleeping to repair your skin.

If you need to brush up on your hand-washing skills, the CDC released a very helpful article and graphic with the best process. Check out these handy instructions and the infographic!

Vaccinate!

The flu vaccine is an excellent way to mitigate both catching the flu and transmission of the flu. With efficacy rates of 40 – 60% in simply preventing the flu, the flu shot should be on everyone’s to-do checklist this season (if you didn’t get the shot already, that is). It also can prevent severe illness should a breakthrough case happen. Transmission rates are also reduced, which is so important for our more vulnerable populations like pregnant people, children under the age of 6, and seniors! Overall, the flu vaccine should be one of the most important lines of defense you take this season. For those hesitant to receive the flu vaccine, you can read more about the benefits of the vaccine.

There’s No Place Like Home

In recent years, we have all learned the importance of staying home when you are sick. Gone are the days of toughing it out and going into work, events, or visiting friends and family when ill. It’s important to recognize that resting and recovery is not only beneficial to those with the flu, but to their communities as well. The best way to avoid spreading the flu is to stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone (without the help of fever reduction medications and aids.) Rest up, feel better, and visit when you’re well!

Flu prevention can be as simple as 1, 2, 3–as long as you’re making smart decisions! For our senior communities in Oregon, their loved ones, and those who work in our 55 plus communities in Oregon, we highly recommend taking these tips and running with them

For more information on our Oregon Retirement Communities, contact our team today!

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