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How To Stay Healthy During Cold & Flu Season


Temperatures are dropping, the leaves are changing, and the air feels crisp—fall is in full swing. This also means that cold and flu season is upon us. The sniffling, sneezing, stuffy head, achiness that seems like it will never go away season is here. The CDC recommends that everyone 6 months of age or older should get a flu shot. The flu shot is especially important for people 65 years of age and older. The CDC estimates that this age group has between 50% to 70% of seasonal-flu related hospitalizations. Protect yourself and stay healthy this cold and flu season by incorporating these healthy habits into your routine:

Wash Your Hands Often

Germs are everywhere. You can easily catch a cold or the flu by touching something that’s been contaminated. It’s important to try to avoid sneezing into your hands or touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. Scrubbing your hands with hot, soapy water for 20 seconds will help protect you from germs. If you don’t have soap and water readily available, an alcohol-based hand sanitizer is a good substitute.

Stay Active

A simple exercise routine not only works wonders for your heart, but it can also help boost your immune system. One theory from the National Institutes of Health is that exercising may help flush bacteria out of the lungs and airways which may reduce your chance of getting a cold, flu, or other illness.

Get Plenty Of Rest

Are you getting enough sleep? Dr. Eric J. Olson, M.D. from the Mayo Clinic explains how sleep deprivation can impact your immune system: “During sleep, your immune system releases proteins called cytokines, some of which help promote sleep. Certain cytokines need to increase when you have an infection or inflammation, or when you're under stress. Sleep deprivation may decrease production of these protective cytokines. In addition, infection-fighting antibodies and cells are reduced during periods when you don't get enough sleep.” Make sure you recharge your body, boost your immune system, and fight off those germy invaders by getting plenty of rest every night.

At Catholic Eldercare, the health and well-being of residents is a top priority. Our highly-trained staff ensures that residents have access to weekly wellness clinics conducted by trained nurses, 24-hour protective oversight, and so much more! To learn more about our communities, please contact Robin Haenze at rhaenze@catholiceldercare.org or 612-605-2515.