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Protecting Yourself Against Viruses


As flu and virus season approaches, it's crucial for seniors to take proactive steps to protect themselves. Seniors are more vulnerable to the flu and other respiratory infections, which can lead to serious complications. Fortunately, there are several effective strategies seniors can implement to safeguard their health during this challenging time.



1. Get Vaccinated

One of the most effective ways for seniors to protect themselves against the flu is to get vaccinated annually. The flu vaccine is specifically designed to target the most prevalent strains of the virus for that season. Seniors should consult with their healthcare provider to ensure they receive the appropriate vaccine for their age group, such as the high-dose or adjuvanted flu vaccine, which provides stronger protection for older adults. Please consult your doctor for most current information regarding COVID-19 vaccinations and precautions/isolation recommendations.



2. Practice Good Hand Hygiene

Frequent handwashing is a simple yet powerful preventive measure against viruses. Seniors should wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after being in public spaces, before eating, and after coughing or sneezing. If soap and water are unavailable, using hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol is a viable alternative. St. Charles offers hand sanitizer in the main lobby, dining room, community room and other high-traffic and high-touchpoint areas.


3. Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle

A robust immune system is essential for warding off infections. Seniors should focus on maintaining a healthy lifestyle, which includes a well-balanced diet, regular exercise, and adequate sleep. Proper nutrition can help boost the immune system, so consider incorporating immune-boosting foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains into your diet. Our dietary team at St. Charles provides three hearty and nutritional meals, plus snacks, to ensure our resident's are well-nourished based on their unique dietary requirements. Find out more about our included amenities here.

4. Practice Respiratory Etiquette

Viruses are often transmitted through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Seniors should practice respiratory etiquette by covering their mouth and nose with a tissue or the inside of their elbow when coughing or sneezing. Dispose of used tissues properly and wash your hands immediately to prevent the spread of germs.

5. Avoid Close Contact with Sick Individuals

During flu season, it's wise for seniors to limit close contact with people who are sick, especially those exhibiting flu-like symptoms. If a family member or friend falls ill, encourage them to stay home until they are no longer contagious. Additionally, seniors should consider avoiding crowded places or events where the risk of exposure to viruses is higher.


6. Keep Surfaces Clean

Viruses can linger on surfaces for hours or even days. Seniors should regularly clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces in their homes, such as doorknobs, light switches, remote controls, and countertops. Using an EPA-approved disinfectant can help reduce the risk of virus transmission. The St. Charles housekeeping team is experienced and diligent; each suite has weekly housekeeping service, including disinfecting, garbage removal, bathrooms, kitchen and vacuuming. All our housekeeping services are listed here.


7. Stay Informed

Stay informed about the latest developments related to flu season and other viruses. Trusted sources like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) provide up-to-date information and guidance. Seniors, family and caretakers should also consult their healthcare provider for personalized advice and vaccination schedules. 8. Wear a Mask

The use of masks during flu and virus season, particularly for seniors, can be a beneficial precautionary measure in certain situations. Here are some considerations regarding mask-wearing: crowded or high-risk settings, when social distancing is a challenge, when feeling unwell, if advised by a healthcare provider, and/or for compliance with local guidelines. Safety of our residents and staff is the #1 priority of St. Charles Village and we will post informational signage and implement physical distancing and mask-wearing when necessary to minimize risk throughout the flu and virus season.

We're all in this together

Protecting yourself against viruses during flu season is crucial, especially for seniors who are at higher risk of complications. By following these proactive measures, such as getting vaccinated, practicing good hygiene, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and staying informed, seniors can significantly reduce their risk of contracting the flu and other respiratory infections. Taking these steps will help ensure a healthier and more comfortable flu and virus season for seniors and those who care for them.

If you don’t feel well or if you have any symptoms, even if mild, assume you may have COVID-19. Immediately isolate at home and away from others. Check with your local public health authority for more advice, including where and how to get tested if recommended. You may be infected but not have symptoms.


Common COVID-19 symptoms:

  • sore throat

  • runny nose

  • sneezing

  • new or worsening cough

  • shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

  • temperature equal to or more than 38°C

  • feeling feverish

  • chills

  • fatigue or weakness

  • muscle or body aches

  • new loss of smell or taste

  • headache

  • abdominal pain, diarrhea and vomiting

  • feeling very unwell

(SOURCE: Canada Public Health Website) Visit the link for more information.

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