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Protect Yourself from the Flu: Tips for Caregivers Caring for Loved Ones
From the flu to an injury, winter can bring new challenges to staying healthy, especially when you are caring for a loved one. When you have a loved one with a compromised immune system, it is even more important to protect yourself from illness. These tips will help to keep you healthy and active this winter.
- If you are sick, stay home. Spreading the flu to loved ones with a compromised immune system increases their risk of illness and dangerous complications.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. This prevents respiratory illnesses from spreading to those around you.
- Wash your hands frequently. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides guidelines for ensuring you are removing all germs.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs are spread through touching something contaminated with germs and then touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
- Get a flu shot! This simple step helps to build your immune system to fight the flu. Everyone over the age of 6 months should receive the vaccine annually, particularly those at high risk of flu complications.
- Get some exercise. Moving your body keeps your body’s systems running best and fights off infection.
- Dress properly for the temperatures and weather. Wear layers under a coat and wear gloves, a scarf and a hat.
- Warm up before shoveling. Stretch or walk in place for a couple of minutes to get your muscles warm which will help you to work more efficiently and reduce risk of injury.
- Avoid caffeine and nicotine before shoveling or doing any strenuous activity. These substances increase heart rate and may cause blood vessels to constrict.