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This Flu Season is Dangerous for all Ages, Especially the Elderly

This Flu Season is Dangerous  for all Ages, Especially the ElderlyAccording to the CDC, Florida is one of the states with the highest records of influenza infections.   This year, the flu has affected young and old alike and caused unprecedented amounts of hospitalizations and deaths.  Adults 65 and over are more susceptible to the dangers of the flu, as their symptoms can quickly exacerbate into pneumonia or other disease states. The immune system in the elderly becomes weaker, and the ability to fight off viruses and bacteria becomes more difficult and problematical with age.  Many seniors are left much more vulnerable to the complications of respiratory infections, than healthy, younger adults.

It doesn’t take an expert to realize that coughing is a major symptom of the flu. However, coughing is actually a natural bodily reaction to excess buildup in the respiratory tract, meaning that your body is trying to clear itself of phlegm and other materials. Unfortunately, the cough and gag reflexes that induce a coughing fit become more suppressed as we age. This means that even though a senior with the flu has a blocked respiratory tract, he or she might not even feel the symptoms of this buildup in their lungs. Regrettably, this excess of fluid makes elderly patients more susceptible and at higher risk of developing pneumonia. Pneumonia is the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S. among the elderly.

Since 90% of flu-related deaths are in adults over the age of 65, it’s essential to plan ahead, as there are ways to prevent the flu. Along with the traditional flu shot vaccination, there is a high dose flu vaccine. This high dose vaccine is ideal for the elderly population because it contains three different flu strains, which makes staving off the flu virus, much easier. It also provides more antigens, than a standard flu shot, which creates antibodies that fight the flu virus.

If you or a loved one becomes infected with the virus, there are antiviral medications that help limit the length and severity of the flu. Because these are both important ways to prevent and treat the flu, it’s always a good idea to speak to your primary care physician about whether they are appropriate for your specific needs.

Flu-Related Complications
• Pneumonia
• Bronchitis
• Sinus infections
• Ear infections
• Extreme fatigue

Prevention
• Get vaccinated
• Ask about the high dose flu vaccine option
• Practice thorough hand-washing often
• Cover your cough with your sleeve or a tissue
• Avoid people who are sick

At Life Care of Ocala, they offer the dedicated support that caregivers and patients need. They understand the rampant spread of the flu and its serious complications, and they take every one of their patient’s health and safety concerns into effect. Life Care makes sure that their staff is well-trained on the precautions, preventions and it’s mandatory that they too receive a flu vaccination.

When caring for people with the flu Life Care always creates the most comfortable environment for the patient, along with the highest standard of care. And just as important, they make sure the patients are not spreading the virus within the facility. Life Care will create as sanitary and germ-free an environment as possible. The influenza virus can be debilitating to the elderly.  Seniors need someone to care for them when they have the flu.  Life Care is there for them during this process and after when they are in need of rehabilitation to get their bodies back into it’s healthiest state.

Life Care Center of Ocala
Not all assisted living facilities are the same, and that’s certainly true of the Life Care Center of Ocala.  Along with state-of-the-art medical care, Life Care Center of Ocala offers homelike amenities with added luxuries, such as a beauty salon, ice cream parlor, restaurant style dining and 24-hour security all within a serene environment. . Private rooms and suites are also available, as well as a number of indoor and outdoor areas for residents and patients to host family visits.

To find out more about Life Care of Ocala, or to book a personalized tour, please call (352) 873-7570, or visit their website at www.LifeCareCenterOfOcala.com to view their services and to peruse their newsletter to find out what other residents have to say about living at Life Care.

352.873.7570 | 2800 SW 41st St. | Ocala, FL 34474 | www.LifeCareCenterOfOcala.com

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