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Swine Flu Prevention Guidelines For Seniors, The Aging & Caregivers
By Allen Jesson 

You have all undoubtedly heard all the recent news about swine flu-but have you thought about what it means for the seniors in your life, your aging parents or you as a caregiver? To date, almost all cases in the North America have been mild and the chances of contracting swine flu are still remote. Just yesterday, President Obama released this official statement: "We are closely monitoring the emerging cases of swine flu in the United States. This is obviously the cause for concern and requires a heightened state of alert, but it's not a cause for alarm."

However, according to the World Health Organization, the number of confirmed cases of swine flu worldwide increased to 236 on Thursday (2008); this is a substantial increase from the previous day's total of 147. Anyone with an aging parent or a senior in their life, including all certified care managers, should be concerned about the recent swine flu pandemic and the potential risks for seniors.

This group is at particular risk due to difficulties recovering if exposed. It is very important to ensure that all home health aides are educated about swine flu Prevention Guidelines as prescribed by the CDC Center for Disease Control (CDC). Obtaining relevant information from all active caregivers, including recent travels and experienced flu symptoms, is a key component of prevention.

There are steps that professional and family caregivers as well as the community at large can take to decrease exposure and combat symptoms of swine flue. The Center for Disease Control is constantly updating their site, but the current guidelines and information about swine flu for caregivers is as follows:

Swine flu's symptoms resemble those of seasonal flu-fever, sore throat, cough, congestion, chills, headache, body aches and fatigue. Some patients also report diarrhea and vomiting.

If you have symptoms, see your doctor or visit a community clinic. A medical provider's diagnosis is important and prescription antiviral drugs are most effective when taken within 48 hours of the appearance of symptoms.

If you are ill, avoid travel and do not go to work or school.

Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds or use alcohol-based cleaners and hand sanitizers.

Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, and then discard the tissue. Or if necessary, use your upper sleeve-not your hands.

If you're healthy, wash your hands often and avoid ill people. The flu's incubation period is 24 to 48 hours.

Make certain to follow any new developments regarding public health advice, such as avoiding crowds.

Develop an emergency plan. Your plan should include maintaining a supply of food, medicines, facemasks, alcohol-based hand rubs and other essentials.

About the Author:

Please visit the Gilbert Guide for the very best in Senior Home Care and for more information about Senior Care.

Additional Information and webpage by Paul Susic MA Licensed Psychologist Ph.D. Candidate                                      

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