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For many people, the flu means a week of discomfort: fever, headache, fatigue, aches, cough, sore throat and a runny or stuffy nose. However, for older adults and people with chronic conditions, the flu can be much more serious. They are vulnerable to developing complications, such as pneumonia, dehydration and the worsening of chronic conditions (asthma, diabetes, heart disease, etc). Flu complications often lead to hospital stays and, sometimes, complications can be fatal.
Getting a flu shot is the #1 BEST way to PROTECT yourself! Other ways include avoiding people who may be sick, covering your mouth and nose in public and washing your hands (A LOT!).
The flu virus changes each year, so it is important to get a flu shot each fall. Flu season can begin as early as September and can last as late as May. It is best to get the flu shot early in the season. This gives your body enough time to build up immunity to the flu virus. It takes about two weeks for the flu shot to provide protection. If you are unable to get the flu shot early in the season, getting it later in the season is still beneficial.
Washington Regional Senior Health Clinic will begin its annual Flu Clinics on Thursday, September 21. The Flu Clinics are open to all Senior Health Clinic patients. You do not have to schedule an appointment, just walk in!
Thursday, September 21, 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Thursday, October 5, 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Tuesday, October 31, 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Thursday, November 2, 8:30 – 11:30 a.m.
Pat Walker Center for Seniors
12 E. Appleby Road, Fayetteville, AR
Sources: CDC, 2017 and WebMD, 2016
Jean was born in the grand state of Michigan (Go Blue!), in the cold month of January. She was blessed to have grown up on a large inland lake just a few miles from Lake Huron. She started her career in healthcare in 2002 working in mid-Michigan for a community health center.
Five years later, Jean accepted a job at Saint Luke’s Health System in Kansas City, Mo., as a business supervisor for internal medicine. She later transitioned into the role of a practice manager over urology clinics. She fell in love with BBQ, jazz, and the culture of the city.
After six years, Jean had the opportunity to advance her career, so she packed up and traveled to southern Indiana where she worked as a practice administrator overseeing OB/GYN clinics for St. Mary’s Health Center, which is part of the Ascension Health System. If she had waited one more month, she could have attended the World Series and watched the Kansas City Royals win!
After two years, Jean missed the city she fell in love with. She accepted a position as a practice manager overseeing family medical clinics at St. Joseph Medical Center, owned by Prime Healthcare, and once again packed up and moved back to Kansas City.
While living in Kansas City, Jean attended Razorback games with friends and soon found she enjoyed all the outdoor activities NWA has to offer. As much as she loved Kansas City, she also fell in love with NWA. One day, while talking to a girlfriend/colleague who grew up in Fayetteville, Jean realized this would be a fantastic place to work and play. Her friend told her about Washington Regional, and after looking at their career section, she applied for a position at the Senior Clinic. She received a call to schedule a phone interview. After that interview, she knew this was her calling. She had the pleasure of doing a second onsite interview with some of the physicians and administrative leaders. She was very impressed with the warm southern welcoming of both the facility and those with which she interviewed. She left that day with a great feeling that this is where she wanted to plant her feet and become part of a health system that truly meets the needs of the community.
In her spare time, Jean enjoys traveling and spending time with family and friends.
By Gillian Kruse to Featured Articles at Care.com
Seniors are more susceptible to dehydration because they lose their ability to conserve water as they age. They can also become less aware of their thirst and have difficulty adjusting to temperature changes. Drink water often!
Talk to Your Doctor
Check with your doctor to make sure medications won’t be affected by higher temperatures — especially if you don’t have air conditioning in your home. Some medications are less effective if stored at temperatures higher than 78 degrees Fahrenheit.
Keep Your Cool
Even small increases in temperature can shorten the life expectancy for seniors who are coping with chronic medical conditions. Contact your local Area Agency on Aging to inquire if there are programs to assist seniors with fewer resources to get air conditioners.
Stay in Touch
Seniors should let friends and family know if they plan to spend an extended period of time outdoors. “Caregivers should check on the health and welfare of their loved ones at least twice a day,” suggests Dr. Javed of HealthCare Partners Medical Group.
Meet Your Neighbors
Seniors may want to ask if a younger neighbor can come by and check on them occasionally.
Know Who to Call
Prepare a list of emergency phone numbers and place them in an easy to access area. This way, help can be called quickly, preventing medical problems from getting worse.
Wear the Right Stuff
When it’s warm out, some people find natural fabrics to be cooler than synthetic fibers. Stock your summer wardrobe with light-colored and loose-fitting clothes.
Protect Your Eyes
Too much exposure to the sun can irritate eyes and cause eye damage. Wearing sunglasses can protect your eyes from harmful UV rays.
Know the Risks of Hyperthermia
Heat stroke is an advanced form of hyperthermia that can be life-threatening. Get medical attention immediately if you or anyone you know is experiencing these symptoms:
- Body temperature greater than 104 degrees
- A change in behavior
- Dry, flushed skino Nausea and vomiting
- Headacheo Heavy breathing or rapid pulse
- Not sweating, even if it’s hot out
Sunscreen and Hats
Seniors should wear sunscreen when outdoors. Hats are also a great idea, especially for those with light colored or thinning hair.
Apply Bug Spray
Seniors are particularly prone to West Nile Virus and encephalitis. If you live in areas where there are a lot of mosquitoes and where West Nile Virus is present, and if you spend a lot of time outdoors, use mosquito repellent to help reduce the risk of getting bit by a mosquito carrying this virus.
Consider getting outdoor exercise earlier in the morning or later in the evening when the sun is not at its peak.
This is an excerpt. For complete article, go to:https://www.care.com/c/stories/5444/12-summer-safety-tips-for-the-elderly/