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Seniors: Extra care, hygiene in flu season

Jan. 25, 2013 at 7:15 PM   |   Comments

HAVERTOWN, Pa., Jan. 25 (UPI) -- Visiting Angels, a private U.S. company that provides seniors with home care and assistance, advises special care and extra hygiene during flu season.

Weaker immune systems make seniors more vulnerable to the flu and that's why 90 percent of all flu-related deaths and more than half of flu-related hospitalizations occur in people age 65 or older, Visiting Angels said.

"This flu can be deadly for seniors because they can develop pneumonia and other respiratory illnesses, so families have to be especially vigilant with their elderly loved ones," Larry Meigs, president of Visiting Angels, said in a statement. "Our flu kits help seniors protect themselves from the flu. Our caregivers run errands so seniors don't go out and get exposed to the virus. Plus, we help sanitize the seniors' homes to keep them as germ-free as possible."

The Fight The Flu Kits include:

-- Paper towels: encourage seniors to use paper towels in the bathroom instead of hand towels, which can harbor germs.

-- The Medisim TempleTouch thermometer, fever higher than 102 degrees could indicate the flu.

-- Vitamin C or little boxes of orange juice to boost seniors' immune systems.

-- Pocket-size hand sanitizer, with aloe to keep seniors' skin germ-free.

-- Pens: seniors should always have their own pen handy because shared pens in public areas carry germs.

-- Lysol spray to spray doorknobs, handles and light switches and other highly used items. Viruses can live up to 48 hours on plastic and stainless steel surfaces.

-- Hand soap because plain soap and water works as well, if not better, than anti-bacterial soaps.

-- A tip sheet explaining the difference between the cold and flu.

-- Hand sanitizer wipes to clean hands or public surfaces.

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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