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You know Summer is fading into Fall when the air becomes cooler and crisp (cool and crisp or cooler and more crisp) and the leaves start to change to the most vibrant colors of yellows and reds that you have ever seen. Fall may be one of the most magical seasons, but it can also be a very challenging season for seniors because it signifies that the cold and flu season is among us. Here are 5 tips to stay healthy during the fall season!
1. Get the Flu Vaccine
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that everyone 6 months of age and older to receive the flu vaccination every year, especially adults age 65+. Seniors are especially at risk for complications from the flu, such as bronchitis, pneumonia and ear infections. The Flu can also make other health conditions worse, further emphasizing the importance of receiving the flu vaccine.
2. Lookout for tripping hazards
When fall approaches temperatures begin to drop, it becomes darker outside earlier, leaves begin to fall and the ground is often wet or frozen. As a result of cooler temperatures joints may become more stiff and it can become more difficult to move around. As such, it is important to stretch in your home before venturing out. Leaves can be a fall hazard so be sure to keep your walkways clear and illuminated to reduce your chances of falling.
3. Stay warm
As you age, the risk of suffering from hypothermia increases. As a result of the cooler temperatures, it is important to dress properly. It is a good idea to dress in layers so if the temperature varies from indoors to outdoors, you can adjust accordingly. Consult with your medical professional about the different types of medications you are on as some medication can make you more sensitive to cold temperatures. It is also recommended to keep your indoor temperature a minimum of 68 degrees Fahrenheit. If you need help paying your heating bills, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services may be able to help.
4. Protect your skin
Did you know the largest organ of the human body is the skin? As the temperature changes be sure to be conscious of your skin. Due to the dry nature of indoor air from heating systems, this could introduce potential problems for your skin. Using a humidifier indoors can help reintroduce moisture into the air and help prevent skin from drying out. Be sure to stay hydrated and use lotion or cream to keep the skin moisturized.
5. Fire risks
As the temperature drops, it is common to use electrical appliances such as electric blankets. Be sure to always check any electrical appliance before plugging it in to make sure there are NO open breaks or fraying in the cords. Another very common electrical appliance is a space heater; these are a common source of fires. Be sure that the heater is placed away from flammable objects/surfaces. Keep a fire extinguisher within the home and easily accessible. Also, don’t forget to check the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
Enjoy all the beauties of fall, but remember to stay safe and stay in touch with loved ones!