Caring for our medically fragile loved ones can come with many challenges, especially during cold and flu season. Medically fragile individuals have a higher risk of contracting colds and the flu, and these illnesses can further complicate their health conditions. As we approach cold and flu season, we've compiled a few helpful tips for protecting your medically fragile loved ones.

Know the Symptoms

  • Knowing the common symptoms of colds and flu will allow you to recognize these illnesses easily. Here are a few common symptoms:
  • Common cold symptoms include sneezing, runny nose, headache, sore throat, cough, nasal congestion, and worsening chronic conditions.
  • Typical flu symptoms include fever, chills, headache, body aches, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and worsening of chronic conditions.

Stay Up to Date on Vaccinations

  • Ensuring that your entire family and your medically fragile loved ones are up to date on their flu vaccinations can be highly beneficial going into cold and flu season because of their extra layer of added protection.

Wash Your Hands

  • The best way to prevent the spreading of common colds and the flu is to practice good hand hygiene and encourage all your family members to do the same. Remember to wash your hands frequently, lather with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, use hand sanitizer when soap and water aren't available, and dry your hands thoroughly.

Disinfect Surfaces Regularly

  • To keep your home germ-free, it is essential to disinfect surfaces regularly. Commonly touched areas such as doorknobs, light switches, electronic devices, and countertops should be disinfected often. Along with regularly cleaning your home, you can also help prevent the spread of colds and flu by utilizing an air purifier.

Maintain Healthy Habits

  • Ensure your family maintains healthy habits throughout cold and flu season, including staying hydrated, eating healthy foods, getting enough sleep each night, and being physically active. Also, stay in close communication with your loved one's doctor, as they can provide helpful information and create a plan for what to do if illness does occur.

Wear a Mask

  • Because colds and flu can be extremely dangerous for medically fragile patients, wearing a mask in large crowds or if someone else in the house is sick can be helpful. Having everyone change their clothes in a designated area when they get home can also be beneficial to keep your family protected from spreading germs.

What To Do If Your Loved One Gets a Cold or the Flu

  • These illnesses are not entirely avoidable, even with precautions to prevent colds and flu. If your loved one is showing any signs or symptoms, it is essential to contact your doctor immediately. Treatments for these illnesses are most effective within 48 hours of symptoms, so it's crucial to seek medical care as soon as possible.

Cold and flu season is stressful for those caring for medically fragile loved ones. With these precautions, you can help protect your loved ones from illnesses and be prepared if your loved ones do get sick. Medically fragile individuals have unique needs, and you must consult your doctor about specific precautions to take as we head into cold and flu season.

At Life Tech, we provide individualized services to help medically fragile individuals, including pediatric services, ventilator care, respiratory therapy, and enteral nutrition. We are here to support your entire family. Call or fill out our contact form for more information about our services.