Easing Flu Symptoms in Your Parent
February 3, 2021
If your parent has recently been exposed to the flu and is starting to display flu-like symptoms, immediate action is best to reduce the seriousness of her condition as well as bring needed relief as her body fights off the virus attacking her body. Flu-like symptoms and Covid symptoms are very similar, with the main difference being that the flu usually comes on quickly and strongly, where Covid-19 has a longer incubation period and may gradually increase its symptoms.
If you believe your aging parent may have the flu, take the following steps to ensure her the best chances for a full and complete recovery.
Call and/or visit her doctor as soon as possible. A call first with the doctor or nurse will help you both determine if your parent should come in for further evaluation and possible medication prescription. If your parent has the flu, receiving an antiviral drug can make the flu a lot less severe and prevent possible other flu complications. Your elderly care provider can pick up your parent’s prescription if the doctor needs to send it to a local pharmacy for pickup.
Isolate your parent. Probably the last thing your parent wants is more isolation, but if she has the flu, she can be contagious for up to five days after the initial symptoms appear. Arrange for family, friends and your elder care provider to run any errands she may have in this time period so she can stay home and rest.
Keep the humidifier running. Moisture in the air will help alleviate a sore throat and a cough. Keeping the humidifier cleaned and filled can be the responsibility of your elder care provider if your parent is extremely under the weather and unable to get out of bed.
Elevate her sleeping space to be at 45 degrees. Sleeping in an upright position will reduce the amount of mucous that gathers in her sinus cavities. Whether it’s propping up a bunch of pillows or creating a comfortable sleeping spot on the couch or recliner, using this technique will prevent further complications of her lungs filling with mucous.
Bring her chicken noodle soup. Yes, the age-old advice of bringing chicken soup to someone who is ill really is helpful. The steam from the soup opens nasal passages, the broth brings relief to the throat, and the soup helps infection-fighting white blood cells do their job better. Whether it’s home-made or purchased, it also conveys love and care, which help improve her mental state while feeling ill.
Encourage lots of liquids. Keeping your parent hydrated will help the excess mucous to thin out and leave her body, providing both relief and a quicker recovery.
Keep an eye on your parent either by daily visits from you or your elder care provider to make sure symptoms have not worsened and that she is managing alright on her own. If symptoms do not show improvement or if she continues to decline, you’ll want to bring her back into the doctor for a follow-up checkup as soon as possible.
If you or your loved one is looking for Elder Care in Belmont, CA, please call Familiar Surroundings Home Care.
Santa Clara County: (408) 979-9990
San Mateo County: (650) 353-9777
Santa Cruz County: (831) 480-3990