Do you remember lining up to wash hands in preschool? Or your teacher handing you a tissue for your sniffles, and then instructing you to promptly throw it out and wash your hands? Perhaps your teacher reminded you to cough into your elbow.
These hygiene basics become more critical as we age. According to the CDC, people’s immune systems become weaker as we grow older. Those ages 65+ are at high risk for serious flu complications compared with young, healthy adults. Therefore, stopping the spread of flu germs with good hand washing and by covering coughs and sneezes is essential for older adults.
Also, it’s critical for this group to have a flu shot – which is the best way to reduce the risk of flu. Remember how your teacher would tell your parents to keep you home if you were sick? Well, it is very important for older adults to stay away from other people who have flu symptoms. And, anyone who has flu-like symptoms, such as fever, cough, runny nose, and body aches, should see their doctor.
Flu germs also can survive on hard surfaces and get on your hands if you touch that surface. It’s another good reason to wash your hands and keep surfaces clean (any cleaning solution works against flu).
Need more of a refresher on how to stop the spread of germs? Sesame Street’s Elmo and Gordon will take you back to preschool.