Flu and other Viruses? Draw the Line for Family Visits
When you are a caregiver there are many things you must juggle at the same time. Not only are you trying to balance your life, but you are also putting all your good will and love on your loved one's life. Trust me, I know! Caregiving has been a part of me for several years now and I have learned to love it and cope with the "not so nice" parts of it. When I became a mom, that instantly turned me into a caregiver. Then came my grandparents once we became their neighbors. I began helping my mom in the daily caregiving tasks whether big or small and slowly I started falling in love with the blessing of being a caregiver of elderly loved ones such as Grandpa and Grandma.
The one particular scenario in caregiving that was somewhat the same with my children and my grandparents was protecting them (and myself) from the Flu. Sometimes people just don't think, are out of logic or simply don't care about being sick and visiting someone who is vulnerable and weak. Logic tells me STOP! Why on earth would you do something like that? When my children were born I made a lot of people mad or resentful for simply saying: "Would you please go wash your hands before touching the baby?" It's amazing how some people take it as if I was saying "Ewww, you are contagious, go away!"
Grandpa recently passed away due to complications after a hip fracture and hip replacement surgery. At some point in his recovery, he got a chest cold that made it very hard for him to breathe at times. Coincidently, across the street in my house, my children my mom and I were going through a major flu spree. For 3-4 days we had to stay in the house, not visit grandpa and rely on wonderful care of great nurses to take care of him. Was it really THAT hard to say away? Yes, actually it was because we all wanted to be by his side, but having common sense that our sickly presence could be fatal for him, we easily understood we had to stay away.
Babies, young children, and older adults can run into serious complications if they are affected by the flu or any contagious condition for that matter. Statistics show that 90% of deaths related to the flu happen to those who are 65 years or older. The immune system is not the same as when we are younger and there are other conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and asthma that can complicate things to older adults and young children.
Do you have any idea how fast viruses can spread within a household or building? FAST! And I mean, extremely fast. Researchers have been able to track the spreading of a virus that started at a doorknob or tabletop and the results where unbelievable. Within 2-4 hours, the virus tracker detected that more than half the people in a specific facility had come in direct contact with the virus.
There is a simple solution to this believe it or not. I just wished more people would actually do it. All you have to do is use disinfecting wipes such as the Isopropanol Disinfectant that contain two Dual Chain Quarternary ammonium Chlorides. The QUATS are highly effective against norovirus and flu. Strict hand hygiene must be implemented as well. Just by taking these two precautions consistently and continually the virus spread can be minimized to 80%.
Do not feel bad about telling people to stay away when you believe the surroundings for your baby or your care-receiver are not the best ones if they have been sick. If you know your visitors have been sick or someone in their house is sick, keep them away. You are there to watch and take care of someone, not to be social around them when it is not necessary.
Oh, and by the way, you might want to keep some of the following supplies available when flu season comes around: