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Home Care Services and the Flu

While providing home care for an aging loved one, you will hear a considerable amount about the flu. You will hear that it is exceptionally dangerous and can cause incredibly serious consequences for seniors. Hearing this, however, does not necessarily prepare you to provide appropriate care for your aging loved one. If you are considering hiring home care services for your aging loved one it is critical that you are fully educated on influenza and can share this information with the in home care provider to ensure that your senior loved one is receiving the level of care that he needs throughout the dangerous flu season.

Here are some important facts about the flu:

  • Up to 20% of the population will get the flu each year
  • Each year more than 200,000 people end up admitted to the hospital due the flu and around 36,000 will die
  • The flu spreads primarily through coughing or sneezing. It can also be spread when a person touches a surface that has been contaminated with the virus
  • The virus can be spread for up to a day before the symptoms even develop and up to five days after they appear

It is important to keep these things in mind when preparing for the flu season with a home care services companion because the health of the companion will be vital to the health of your aging loved one. It is vital that the in home care provider does not come to work if she has been in contact with people that are infected with the flu or is feeling any symptoms.

Symptoms of the flu include:

  • High fever
  • Chronic headache
  • Fatigue
  • Dry cough
  • Sore or scratchy throat
  • Runny nose
  • Stuffy sinuses
  • Achy muscles and joints
  • Nausea and diarrhea

It is also important to keep track of any of these symptoms arising in your aging loved one so that prompt medical attention can be sought. Though most home care services companions are familiar with potential complications related to the flu, it is important that you discuss them with the companion to ensure she understands your expectations regarding the care of your loved one should he contract the flu.

Complications can include:

  • Ear infections
  • Sinus infections
  • Pneumonia
  • Dehydration

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